As part of my occasional series of gondola-related tchotchkes, here’s another from my collection: the letter opener shaped like a gondola ferro. Doesn’t it have a lovely shape, just as the real thing does? I’m impressed that the craftsperson actually fit in all 6 prongs that represent Venice’s sestieri. Most ferro-shaped things fudge that part. You can sort of see that it has some embossing: “Venezia” in script on the blade, and on the opposite end, the winged lion of St. Mark holding his book. The piece is a bit rusty. I tried to shine it up once but was afraid I’d just scratch it. Anyone know what I should use to safely shine it?
I got this letter opener in Venice, but now I can’t remember which shop. For many years I’d go back to the tiny nook near the church of Santi Apostoli, with the tiny little man with Einstein hair who sat on a chair in the doorway. But alas, it is gone now. It was boarded up last time I was there (last year). It’s probably a mask shop or glass shop by now. Venice certainly needs a few more of those.