Three cheers for Marco, the Italian bladesmith!

There are some truly talented people out there. Some time ago, when I was trawling the threads on RomanArmyTalk  (as one does), I found a post about the incredible Roman multitool that can be seen at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. It’s an incredible sight – the first “Swiss Army knife” known to man, if you will. A few weeks later, I was gobsmacked to see a post by an Italian craftsman called Marco di Franco. He’d made a replica of the tool – and it was absolutely stunning. I’ve wanted one since, and while the hefty pricetag (entirely justified, given the level of skill required to make it) has put me off until I feel flush enough, I recently bought a couple of beautiful items from Marco: a replica Roman bronze whistle, which features in Spartacus, and a replica woman’s bone hairpin, which has a snake entwined around it. Such a piece would look wonderful on the head of Ariadne, Spartacus’ wife. As a priestess of Dionysus, she would have carried a venomous snake during ceremonies. Take a look at the pieces and tell me what you think.

These are not the only items that Marco makes by any means. He does full Roman army medical kits, rings, jewellery and more. His website is here and he can be contacted on I cannot recommend him highly enough!

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  1. John Salter
    Posted 25 October 2011 at 11:22 | Permalink

    Haha who would have thought that the Roman army had such tools! I bet if you wrote about someone using one in a story, people would say you were bonkers!

  2. Ben Kane
    Posted 25 October 2011 at 14:36 | Permalink

    @John: those were my thoughts precisely!! Well, when you read about the multitool in one of my books, you’ll know where it came from 😉

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