giovedì 24 gennaio 2019

Resolza, the Sardinian traditional knife

Hello everybody,

in this article I would like to talk about one of the most beautiful italian traditional knife, the RESOLZA from Sardinia island

The RESOLZA is the knife used by Sardinian shepherds and farmers to do all the daily works, food preparation, fixing leather harness, cutting ropes, and so on

For those who don't know, Sardinia is the second largest island of the Mediterranean sea (after Sicily), but unlike Sicily, which is very close to the Italian peninsula, Sardinia is very far from the continent, so the Sardinians for long time had to arrange themselves. Sardinia is a stunning island, with amazing landscapes, sea, food, traditions

Let's come back to the RESOLZA. For centuries, the island's economy was based mainly on sheep-farming and agriculture. Of course, any shepherd or farmer needed for a knife: the knife was the tool always handy, always ready to help the owner for dozen tasks, everyday everytime. Until mid XIX° century, the knife used in Sardinia was named "sa corrina": this fixed blade knife was very different from the RESOLZA, actually it was a simple steel blade fixed to a horn or wood handle. Anyway the shape of the blade - the myrtle leaf shape - was similar to the RESOLZA blade

Probably the first ones to made proper RESOLZA knives were two brothers, Mimmia and Giuanne Bellu, roughly around year 1850. Since then, the RESOLZA started up and became rapidly popular firstly in Sardinia, later in the rest of Italy. Nowadays, RESOLZA is a very valued knife from collectors and passionates in all the world, due to his beauty and efficiency. Luckily, there are still a few workshops in Sardinia able to make awesomes RESOLZAs: one of them is Vittorio Mura & Figli from Santu Lussurgiu (OR). Their RESOLZA, photographed for this article, was provided by TRADIZIONI SARDE EXPORT from Quartu Sant'Elena (CA).

I ordered my RESOLZA from TRADIZIONI SARDE EXPORT an on-line shop based on Quartu Sant'Elena (CA), Sardinia. I must say the site is very clear, offering a wide knives choice, and the shipping was really fast: I received my RESOLZA just two working days after my order.  I choose a RESOLZA with ram handle, brass collar, ten centimeters blade, made by the renowed workshop Vittorio Mura & Figli from Santulussurgiu (OR). The knife arrives well and safely packaged. Inside the package you will find a black box, branded TRADIZIONI SARDE EXPORT, and a folder reporting general data about TRADIZIONI SARDE EXPORT 

Inside the black box, a false leather sheath and a ticket, both marked Vittorio Mura & Figli - Santulussurgiu

Finally, inside the sheath, you will find the RESOLZA

Packaging is not luxurious, fairly enough to gift the knife to another person, but nothing more. Yes, what's count really is the knife, which is stunning, but for what I payed - roughly 200 euros - I would expect something more, maybe a true leather sheath i.e. Anyway, let's go ahead to the knife.

Due to large popularity of this kind of knife, there are "resolzas" industrially made. And they are not that bad, if you want a cheap "resolza like" folder. But a true, proper RESOLZA is a whole different thing, always handmade by a skilled Sardinian knifemaker, which needs at least 8-10 hours to make one of them. And it's not cheap, believe me. RESOLZA is a "friction folder", so no blade-lock

RESOLZA's handle is made by two horn pieces (bighorn, ram, cattle), divided by a steel bar called "the arc", tapered towards the end. The two horn pieces and the bar are linked by five or six metallic pins. Knives made by bighorn or ram horn handles are more expensives, yet more beautiful, than the cattle horn ones

Between the handle and the blade there is a metallic collar, called "the ring", made by brass, alpacca or, sometimes, silver. The function of "the ring" is to toughen the junction point between handle and blade. On the ring there are decorative engravings

A proper, handmade good RESOLZA" has no defects, all the parts are exactely coupled, and there is no blade play at all. 
The blade is made by carbon or stainless steel - depending of customer taste. The blade has the classic "myrtle leaf" shape and it's razor sharp. The knifemaker name/logo is engraved on the ricasso. There is not a nail mark on the blade. Usually an handmade blade is vertically satin finish 

There are several meausures for the blade, the most commons are 10 or 12 centimeters long. 
Handling a RESOLZA it's a pleasure, the knife is light (weight of mine is 76 grams), really confortable, yet sturdy

The Sardinian RESOLZA is without any doubt one of the most beautiful traditional knife out there, it's part of the history of Sardinia, but it's also a proper tool, ready to be used everyday, everytime you need for. I guees a real, good handmade RESOLZA is one of the best gift a man can receive, or make

 (c) Alfredo Doricchi

Tradizioni Sarde Export
Via San Benedetto, 134 - Quartu Sant'Elena (CA)
Cell. +39 348 7619071

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