Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Philip we crossed posts! As always, perfect description and insight on these stortas, and well noted on the case for anomalies in them which better describes the reasons for the many variations typically seen.
Thanks, Jim. The more of these things I see, the more variety in blade shapes there seem to be. It's easy to assume that there's a "classic form" of blade on these things that forms a defining benchmark, when you look at the gorgeous "droolers" with Brescian chiseled blades in Boccia / Coelho, Armi Bianche Italiane
. The typical contour is indeed the type with the pronounced "Bowie-knife style" clipped point.
Some perspective is gained from a selection of somewhat more plebian examples in Roberto Gotti's book Caino
, which delves into the sword-blade-making industry in this small Brescian town, one of Italy's several counterparts to Passau and Solingen. Here can be seen blade types of slight curvature, and edges that are radiused to a gently upturned point -- imagine a short version of a shashka
blade. And recently in an online auction catalog I saw one with a prominent raised yelman
, making it resemble a snubnosed kilij
Re: terminology -- These weapons were actually known by several names, the most frequent in the literature being storta
( plural: storte
). This may be a derived from a vernacular term used in the region of Veneto, where these large knives were especially popular.
An alternative term is coltella
, plural coltelle
, related to the standard Italian word for knife, coltello
(being a Texas guy you're no doubt familiar with the Spanish cuchillo
. ) Lionello Boccia also includes the term coltellaccio
in the book referenced previously.