We are offering for sale a beautiful South American gaucho knife without the sheath. This vintage early 20th century knife has a steel blade with a very ornate handle design with gold and 800 silver accents. The blade measures 4 7/8” long, with the handle included it is 8 1/8” long and at its widest point it is approximately 13/16” wide. The blade is stamped : ‘ACERO’ – ‘CARPINCHO’ and in good condition with some pitting and surface rust that would be easily removed. Would make a great addition for any knife collector.
FYI: Several types of knives were used by gauchos in the past. They received different names depending on shape, general design and local customs. It is worth noting that, being persons of little literacy, gauchos called their knives by different names, paying little attention to their true characteristics but using the names they would have heard from their elders. Thus, a knife was a facón for one person, but the same knife may have been called a daga by another. Originally blades were forged in Germany, Belgium, France and England. The luxurious silver and gold embellished knives made their first appearances after the 1830/1840s, once the true local silversmith trade was established. In those early years, this type of costly knife was destined mainly for wealthy estancieros (ranch and land owners), high ranking military or rich politicos, and not for ordinary gauchos, who were usually very poor and the owners of very few personal belongings, as previously said. However, the taste for flashy silver ornamented knives, horse headstalls and saddles quickly spread among gauchos and Indians, defining their most prized possessions and serving as symbols of power and rank. So, while both of these human types were usually very, very poor they tried by all means (including trade and robbery) to get some silver into their belongings. The difference in name relates to the length of the blade which, in turn, conditioned the place of carrying. Ref: Vikingsword Website