Story Time again Kids … This time I am borrowing directly from AssistedKnife.com’s write up of the great Frank Beltrame stiletto knives.
The Beltrame Family is Vittorio, Ivano, Danilo, Luciano, Carlo, Francesco (Frank), Armando, Ivano & Sara, Renzo.
The Beltrame Family of Maniago, Italy begins making knives after WWII with Vittorio Beltrame and his sons Ivano, Danilo, Luciano, and Carlo as the Beltrame Vittorio & Figli Company. The company is closed in 1969. The familiy business continued on in 1970 with Renzo the son of Danilo forming his own company, and also in 1970 Frank the son of Ivano forming his own company. Armando worked for Frank for from 1975 to 1996 and then Armando formed his own company. In 1994 Ivano and Sara the children of Frank began working in the family business.
Beltrame Vittorio & Figli made multi purpose knives and fishing knives and opened right after WWII. They used the Tang Stamps, INOX, ROSTFREI, and BV&F.
Son of Ivano Beltrame Francesco (Frank) started working in 1956 at the company Of Grandpa Vittorio.
Vittorio had 4 sons and 3 daughters. The sons, Ivano, Danilo, Luciano and Carlo, all worked at the company BV&F.
BV&F only started making stilettos in 1958 and they were then made from 1958 to 1969. Stilettos only every had the Tang Stamp BV&F.
Frank Beltrame was born Feb 14, 1941 in Maniago Italy. He grew up in a home with his mother, father, and his brother Armando. Armando was born in 1947.
The Beltrame family shared the duplex style home with his Uncles Danilo, Luciano and Carlo, from where they ran a small knife factory of BV&F.
Frank learned at an early age how to work and he learned to take pride in his jobs around his father’s Knife factory. Frank started out doing miscellaneous jobs such as carefully packing knives for shipping, and eventually became an apprentice of his Father’s.
They made fishing knives, multi purpose knives, and knives like the Opinel, with a wood scale.
In 1956, at the age of 15, after Frank had attended 2 years at a Professional Cutlery School , he officially went to work with his father and his Uncles, making knives full time. He went to school in the evenings, learning all about the various materials and the latest technology as well as the traditional old world style of knife design.
Little did Frank know, this was the beginning of a legendary career, as he would grow up to be one of the world’s greatest knife makers, setting the standard for Italian Cutlery.
In 1958, Frank’s Family Company began making switchblades. Frank had an instant interest in the mechanism of an automatic knife.
In 1961, Armando Beltrame started his knifemaking job under his father Ivano’s direction.
In 1969, sadly, Ivano Beltrame Frank’s father died of a heart attack while working in the factory one day.
The BV&F company was closed on 1969 because Frank wanted to continue alone after his father Ivano’s death.
The following year in 1970, Frank founded F.lli Beltrame F & A. The Tang Stamp b Rostrei was used, according to the family the B with a capital letter is a copy of their stamping and is not theirs and a fake.
Renzo son of Danilo founded his company in 1970 but unfortunately went bankrupt in 1990.
Armando started to work with Frank in 1975.
In 1982 Frank patented the Atlas kit, which was a switchblade without the spring installed. He distributed those to THE EDGE CO. These were the original switchblade ‘kits’ that people still look for to this day.
During this time, as the Italian switchblade market was expanding, there were other companies in Italy who attempted to jump into the knife making industry. Some of these companies had a lack of quality control. They used sub standard materials and mass produced poor quality lines of switchblades.
In 1990 Frank Unveiled and patented a model Switchblade for the German market. Although his knife was very popular, Taiwan had begun mass producing cheap imitation clones of Italian stilettos, so now Frank faced a new problem. He had to compete in the knife market against poorly made copies of his own knives.
Luckily, quality speaks for itself, as any knife collector knows that there is NO COMPARISON between a genuine Frank Beltrame stiletto and anything ever made in Taiwan!
In 1996 F.lli Beltrame F & A company was divided into two different companies: mABer Coltellerie and Fratelli Beltrame F&C.
Frank decided to restructure the company, so Frank founded F.lli Beltrame F&C with his daughter Sara and his son Ivano (named after Frank’s father). They had already been working with Frank for 2 years.
Fratelli Beltrame F&C uses the Tang Stamp Frank B. Italy and according to the family the F. Beltrame is a copy of their stamping and is not theirs and a fake.
Ivano helped Frank in the workshop, and Sara, who learned to read, write and speak English, became the sales Represenative and interpretor between Frank and the USA buyers.
When asked of his favorite hobby, no surprise Frank said “My hobby is my job” and he still works full time in his work shop. Making knives is his passion.
He also enjoys time with his family, including his wife, 2 children, and grandsons Mattia 4 yrs old (son of Ivano) and Antonio 3 yrs old (son of Sara). Maybe someday, they will join the Beltrame knife making empire and continue the family legacy.
When asked which knife from his product line is his favorite, he couldn’t answer. He puts such time and dedication into designing and producing each knife that he loves them all equally.
Frank Beltrame and Latama went in on a joint venture which has resulted in a new 5mm thick stiletto called“Walt’s Classic’s” . These are unsurpassed in quality and design.
The handles are from Frank, and the 5mm blades are from Walt (Latama). The blade is laser cut for precision, and polished to a mirrored finish. The scales come in exotic colors such as Ram, Brazilian Buffalo Horn, Blond Horn, Abalone, and French Tip. The bolsters are solid nickel silver.
Together, Frank and Ivano have designed for Walter the finest example of an Italian stiletto on the market.
The “secrets” of these knives have been handed down from father to son for generations and is part of the Maniago Knife Smiths’ history.
The care to detail and precision in the spring mechanism have earned Beltrame the respect and approval of demanding customers worldwide.
If you are in the United States like me and are not able to pick one up in person, how about a nice “Do it Yourself” kit made by the master.