Genoa, late 17th century. Classic and well-known form which was specifically illegal at the time of its use. See Il Cotello Genovese, Storie di lame di armi proibite e di “caruggi” (The Genoese Knife. History of prohibited weapons, blades and alleyways) by Andrea Butti, p.363. Horn hilt carved as a Moor’s head with deeply furled turban and well delineated featured. The ears with silver (?) earrings. Facial details and general decoration of bone disks. Integral faceted grip below twisted wire and bone disk inlay. Rudimentary brass grip as it was not intended for fighting, but for the clandestine hacking strike. 23 1/4” d.e. blade bearing the running wolf mark one side with cross and orb the other, from an earlier broadsword. Hilt excellent for the period. The blade with old stable rust probably owing to its having been concealed in storage. We’ve seen just about five of these in 50 years. Moors were a cultural influence in Italy and moor’s heads were often used in heraldry. Moors were common in Italian art. Othello was a Moor. They were feared and respected and, as they were part of the Ottoman Empire, frequently confronted in combat. It's likely that their images on these weapons were intended to convey a sense of sinister evil.
Stock Number: FNS3923

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