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Old 26th November 2020, 10:16 AM   #1
mariusgmioc
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Default Information on CAINO blades

Hello,

Can anyone help me please with some information on CAINO swordsmiths?

Regards,

Marius
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Old 26th November 2020, 10:50 AM   #2
fernando
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Marius, you may look at this LINK ; see the attachment below (Courtesy Gyngell) ... and also use the forum "Search" button on Caino .


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Old 26th November 2020, 01:49 PM   #3
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I would love to learn more about this subject, too. Have you seen this https://www.hema-minsk2019.org/base...ibition-part-3?

In the bibliography it mentions a book which sadly is in Italian: Gotti, R., 2011. Caino. Punto Marte, Soligo.
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Old 26th November 2020, 02:58 PM   #4
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My confusion, then; between famous Italian smith Pietro Caino (Milan) and swords made by masters from Caino (Brescia).
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Old 26th November 2020, 03:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
My confusion, then; between famous Italian smith Pietro Caino (Milan) and swords made by masters from Caino (Brescia).


Exactly!

And this appears to be a general confusion not only yours.

Then why would a "Pietro Caino" mark his blades with a crowned "S" or "MS" and not his initial letters?! (see the example in the Metropolitan museum)

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/27437

Moreover, I could not find more detailed information about this Pietro Caino so I am wondering if he ever existed, or the "CAINO" marked blades are strictly referring to the city where they were produced (like the blades marked with "Toledo" or "Solingen").

To me, it appears that the CAINO marking on the blades indicates their city of origin, and the additional punched mark the initials of the swordsmith name, that unfortunately is now lost.
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Old 26th November 2020, 03:39 PM   #6
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Apparently we face two different things.
We can read that, in a project to replicate a XVII century STORTA, the weapon chosen has been a beautiful sword made in Caino (Brescia, Italy) and is attributed to the swordsmith Tomaso Gorgonio Desenzani, owner and master of the Terminello workshop. It is most likely the most complete and genuine extant sword of its type made in Caino.

https://www.researchgate.net/public..._Storta_Project.
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Old 26th November 2020, 07:45 PM   #7
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This subject on Caino is much the same as the mystery of ANDREA FERARA and others where names, markings and phrases are used spuriously and in various combinations on blades, all with the allusion of quality in mind.

It seems there were Caino's in Milan, not only Peitro but Francesco (who worked at the sign of the golden lion end of 16th c.) The Picinino's were also in Milan.

Another maker 'Lambertengo' would sign with that name, yet use the S/T of Caino. Another Milanese blade marked Caino was with S or M/S said to have been used by Caino but not sure which one. The point is that the CAINO and associated marks seem to be applied along with the makers own name in cases.

Then there is the town of Caino, in NE Brescia, in whch case the town name seems of course intended. Brescia was under control of Venice, as was Belluno and Ferara, where the famed blades of the Ferara brothers were made.

To the SW, was Genoa which was departure port for blades from centers such as Lucca and others and the well known 'sickle marks' evolved into another 'quality' connotation.

With Caino blades, another characteristic often seen are the strange groupings of letter groups in repitition, which seem to be acrostics or perhaps letters in numeric values, it has never been resolved.

I suppose that evaluating a sword with Caino blade, it becomes necessary to combine the contexts, character and individual merits at hand to make a reasonable assessment.

Aside from the book by Mr. Gotti, which is hard to obtain as well as obviously in Italian, gleaning various notes and references is the only means of gaining data on this most interesting topic.

Last edited by Jim McDougall : 26th November 2020 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 27th November 2020, 05:13 AM   #8
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Default cities and region

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall

Then there is the town of Caino, in NE Brescia, in which case the town name seems of course intended. Brescia was under control of Venice, as was Belluno and Ferrara,.



Jim, Caino is a small town not far north of the city of Brescia, both municipalities being in the eastern part of the region known as Lombardy.

There is another Lombard city, Bergamo, located about midpoint between Milan and Brescia, a bit north of the EW beeline between them, that was also famed for the production of sword blades.

Last edited by Philip : 27th November 2020 at 05:14 AM. Reason: geographical clarity
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Old 27th November 2020, 05:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
We can read that, in a project to replicate a XVII century STORTA, the weapon chosen has been a beautiful sword made in Caino (Brescia, Italy) and is attributed to the swordsmith Tomaso Gorgonio Desenzani, owner and master of the Terminello workshop. .


There is also a town called Desenzano del Guarda, on the shores of Lake Guarda, that is not far southeast of Brescia, which is in turn south of Caino. I wonder if Tomaso Gorgonio D had family roots there.

The whole region, in fact Lombardy as a whole, has been a metalworking center for centuries; in the late Middle Ages, Milan and environs became famous throughout Europe for its armor. The Germanic Longobards who first settled the region when Rome fell were skilled smiths, I recall seeing some of their steel swords of lamellar construction in a local museum. Even prior -- Celtic sites BCE have yielded molds for bronze swords.

Brescia, and Caino, can be considered the gateways to the transalpine district Gardone Val Trompia, which later on became the home of a thriving firearms industry which flourishes to this day, both for military and luxe sporting weapons.
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Old 27th November 2020, 05:52 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Victrix

In the bibliography it mentions a book which sadly is in Italian: Gotti, R., 2011. Caino. Punto Marte, Soligo.


This is a spectacular, must-have book for anyone interested in Italian armes-blanches. It can be hard to find, I got my copy at a Czernys auction and find that it was published thanks to sponsorship by that firm; an inquiry with Czernys might lead to a copy for sale somewhere.

Why am I such a fan of it? Here's a synopsis of the subjects covered:
1. Geographical, historical context, with some guild documents verbatim in original Latin and Italian versions.
2. Descriptions of manufacturing processes and establishments, with period illustrations and photos of surviving workshops and residences of the smiths. The interested reader can make comparisons of the work practices described and illustrated herein with published material on equivalent practices in other societies in Europe and Asia prior to the age of mechanization.
3. Classification of the types of blades produced there, and notes on their design as applicable to combat techniques of the 16th-17th cents.
4. Metallurgical study of blades, with chemical analyses and photomicrographs of surfaces and sections of blades produced ca 1575-1630. While lots of attention has been devoted to Eastern sword metallurgy, especially Japanese and Indian, research on the European side has been scanty by comparison and this book, along with the excellent monographs and books by UK researcher Alan Williams, are welcomed steps forward.

Even if you don't read Italian, there is no shortage of illustrations and charts, and the captions in the section on metallurgy should be mostly comprehensible to someone with a reasonable exposure to the language of science.
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Old 27th November 2020, 11:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
...This is a spectacular, must-have book for anyone interested in Italian armes-blanches. It can be hard to find, I got my copy at a Czernys auction and find that it was published thanks to sponsorship by that firm; an inquiry with Czernys might lead to a copy for sale somewhere...

Maybe HERE ?
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Old 6th December 2020, 12:51 PM   #12
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Not much help with information, I'm afraid, but here is my small contribution, another example - a 17th century crab-claw broadsword stamped CAINO in the fuller on both sides of the blade, marked with crosses before and after. I had always assumed the name to be the town of Caino near Brescia but it could well be the bladesmith. There are no other marks
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Old 12th December 2020, 05:45 PM   #13
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As you note, the singular use of CAINO without other markings suggests more likely the place rather than individual maker.
I cannot help but wonder if perhaps Solingen used the 'CAINO' marking in the sense of 'brand' in the manner of 'SAHAGUM', ' ANDREA FERARA'.
I am not familiar with Solingen's use of Italian names(other than obviously Andrea Ferara as noted), marks on blades in this manner, as they profoundly did with Spain and Toledo, but it seems quite possible.

Would very much like to hear more on that possibility or examples of Caino blades known to be of German origin.

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Old 13th December 2020, 12:46 AM   #14
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Because the crab-claw hilt is definitely an Italian design I would suppose that the CAINO blade on my sword is a genuine Italian blade rather than a Solingen import. But nothing is ever 100% certain in the world of antiques!
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Old 13th December 2020, 02:40 AM   #15
Jim McDougall
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Exactly, NOTHING is ever certain. While the design is indeed Italian, the designs of Italian sword hilts were extremely influential, and these styles were incorporated either almost identically or in modified forms in many places.
The thing with Germany is that they often copied blades and names and markings from highly regarded makers in other places.

When AVB Norman wrote" The Rapier and Smallsword 1460-1820" (1980), it is a reference on sword 'hilts' cataloguing types by number and from mostly art work and portraiture. He stated it was not essential to include blade forms as these were often mostly imported and hilted in accord with local or personal preferences.

With Spanish cuphilts (17th c) while these are typically of course deemed Spanish, however the hilts were often made in Italy in Spanish provincial regions. I always found this confusing.
As you say, things in antique arms are not always certain
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