EUROPEAN ARTS DESTINED TO THE RIO DE LA PLATA
Facon knife. Leaf Franchi y Cía. Buenos Aires. End of the 19th or beginning of the 20th century.
Handle of "blonde horn" with a twisted thread that wraps it in a helical way, with metal support towards the defense -this one in the shape of an "S"- and with a pommel also decorated with a stamped cap, in a version very close to saber hilts. Picaza sheath -sole and metal-, with its smooth decoration and an elongated lock with the stylized representation of a branch with leaves on each side. Measures. Blade length: 25 cm. Total length: 40 cm.
German blade, with its central tang, recess, edge and back edge, and emptied as a bleeder towards the back on both sides. It presents a double brand, of the manufacturer -a hand holding a pliers-, W. & G. Vogel, a small factory located in the town of Elberfeld (a few kilometers from Solingen), with its performance around the year 1900 , and the punch of the center of German cutlery, Solingen, reinforcing quality with its local prestige. It also has the stamp -somewhat tired- of the importing house, “A. Franchi y Cía”, with the logo of the winged head of a king, and his address in Buenos Aires, Cuyo 1121.
Antonio Franchi, owner of a business dedicated to the sale of weapons and cutlery, hardware and sewing machines, since at least 1869, in the city of Montevideo, and already installed in Buenos Aires in 1878, although the first record with the indicated address on this sheet is from 1898. (1)
Our specimen, with a typical facón blade, was identified in the German market as a "hunting dagger", a terminology that also reached the Río de la Plata, although its use was much more widespread here.
1. Robert Retamar: Sarandí 250. Author's edition, 2020, pp. 118/121.
We appreciate the information provided by Alberto Guido Chester, co-author of the book “Argentine Knives. Silversmiths and brands” (Buenos Aires, Fripp / Editor, 2021).