Romans folding knives those with the brass handle were the most luxurious.
Where the blade is hinged there are two wooden reinforcements to allow the pin
riveting. The remain of the handle is completely hallow
These knives, essentially having a hollow handle, were not suitable for use in
duels, but were made above all as gifts, souvenirs or votive offerings.
During the 1800s and early 20th centuries the people of the Papal State were
very violent and easily used the knife during fights, but they were still
always very devoted to the Madonna who in their opinion gave graces. Many
duelists who became murderers, repenting of the crime committed, took the knife
to the sanctuaries asking for mercy.
The knife was donated as an ex-voto to a specific sanctuary. This normally
occurs for two reasons: for grace received or for the remission of sins.
After killing, those who repented took the knife as a pledge to the Madonna in
search of grace. Or, those who had saved themselves from a stab wound
considered it a grace received, a miracle and brought their knife to church as
an ex-voto and a grace received.
Both sides of the handle feature silver plates welding with tin. Usually these
plates represent coins or medals. These medallions represent: The King Vittorio
Emanule II, the French Emperor Napoleon III, Saint Peter, and probably two
The flat external spring is fastened to the handle by four screws with rounded
heads and has a curl at the top with a ring to easily unlock the blade. Ratchet
opening with four notches on the tang. It has nice decorative waves pattern
engraved on the handles. it also has a ring at the end which was certainly used
to hang the knife as a votive offering. The numbers 281 and
the name Gautier are engraved on the blade.
The knife remains in very good conditions, blade has full tip with natural
overall pitting due to time. No nicks or dents and almost no dents to the
hallow brass handles. There is a tin solder by of the fourth medal on the front
side. Nearly 34 cm in length folded and 63,5 cm when fully extended
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