L’Artigiano Scarperia “HISTORIC AVIGLIANO CROSSBOW KNIFE” – C70 / Buffalo horn – 100 % Custom Handmade in Scarperia Italy

The historic Balestra di Avigliano knife is made with fine buffalo horn and silver and brass finishes; the brushed blade is in c70 steel and finely worked with engraved motifs and the traditional closure is a simple spring-loaded movement.


Avigliano’s historic knife, commonly known as the “balestra” or corssbow knife, symbolised the proud and resolute character of Avigliano’s townspeople throughout the 19th and part of the 20th century. In the 19th century, the “crossbow” was already considered a valuable item: knives adorned with brass and silver were produced and traded at fairs. We therefore assume that its level of refinement, in terms of both precision of operation and decoration, did not take place until the last decades of the 18th century, in some blacksmith’s or gunsmith’s workshop. This can basically be deduced from tradition, which presents the “crossbow” as an object of the people, ready to be used, depending on the circumstances, by both men and women. The latter received it as an engagement present from their betrothed to better defend their honour, perpetuating a custom that was very much alive at least until the first decades of the 20th century. In the 20th century, the “crossbow” was already on its way to becoming an object renowned for its elegant lines and decorative appearance, suitable for an important gift or to be jealously treasured for oneself. By this time, the passionate nature of the people of Avigliano had changed considerably, partly as a result of strict legislative measures, especially during the twenty-year Fascist period.

Important note on these types of knives: These types of knives are still produced by the manufacturer today in almost the same way as decades and centuries ago. This also means that these knives do not have a modern “blade stop”. As with a traditional Laguiolle from France, you should therefore “always close the blades quietly”. This means that you should not let the blade snap into the handle of the knife, otherwise the edge of the blade will hit the inside of the back spring, the edge will fold over and the knife will become blunt. If it does happen, perhaps because you have given the knife to a friend, you can quickly straighten the edge with a ceramic rod and a few strokes and restore a good edge.

Additional information

Weight 0,5 kg

Overall length (mm)


Weight (g)


Handle material

buffalo horn

Blade length (mm)


Blade thickness (mm)


Blade steel


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