There are two documents that throw some light on the historical traditions of iron cutting in Scarperia: the Statute of the Cutlers and the Notebooks of the workshop of Giordano di Guido Giordani. The Statute (first drafted in 1538) allows us to lift the lid on the everyday life of the cutlers and on the social infrastructure of Scarperia in the 16th century. It also shows how attempts were made to regulate not only the sale of the products but also to limit levels of access that knife sellers were given to the local inns. The Statute records how it became necessary to divide the workshops into two groups, so the knife sellers could only visit them on alternate days, in an endeavor to reduce the number of conflicts between them. When there was a sufficient number of people in the town, both groups were free to sell to whomsoever they pleased. The criterion for deciding on what constituted a sufficient number was relatively simple: if the number of horses at the postal station reached forty or more, the traffic was considered acceptable. The "Notebooks of the workshop of Giordano di Guido Giordani" are equally historically important, since they provide a slice-of-life account of the comings and goings of the cutler's workshop. The notebooks contain records of the number of products made,

the workers' wages, the raw materials purchased and the types of objects sold.
Mention is made of penknives to sharpen quills, shears, scissors, shaped knives, bone-handle knives and, last but not least, kitchen cutlery (a blanket term used to describe a range of different knives, including some worn in sheaths at the waist). The characteristics of the knives produced in Scarperia in days gone by are little-documented, and it was only from the end of the 19th onwards that precise, detailed records started to be kept. Unfortunately, information on models, replacements and variants, and on the arrival in Scarperia of knives from all over Europe, is very scarce and is to be found only in fragmented form in museums and private collections. Detailed illustrations and catalogs are, however, readily available, since these became essential when the craftsmen entrusted the selling of their products to merchants.

This explains the appearance, probably around the mid-19th century, of the so-called tavole anonime - anonymous lithographs depicting scissors, farm equipment and switchblades. The works are anonymous in that they do not feature any particular mark or signature, yet they are very important as many surviving manuscripts detailing articles and prices can be read with reference to these lithographs. In the early 20th century, the so-called tavole Milani, started to appear.
These xylographic (wooden) carvings were created by master engravers, and they opened the way for the production of the first bound catalogs. That said, the documents which best convey the spirit and the significance of the ancient art of cutting irons are the workshop patterns - sketches and templates drawn by the cutlers, or supplied by the clients, and used to prepare the actual articles.

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