Pizza cutter handmade by opera tenor E. Caruso, rosewood frame and turned handle, pierced brass blade guard; white marble stand. 1905
Lot 1007 Circa 1905
This slicer is alleged to have been designed and fabricated by Enrico Caruso (famous Gilded Age operatic tenor) and was inspired by the pizza-eating style of Trixi Friganza (Actress and Suffragette) and their mutual friend, composer, Jack Norwood who wrote the lyrics to the song Take Me Out to the Ballgame.
This artistic trio often dined together at Lombardi's, the first pizza restaurant licensed to sell pizza in New York City, and it was there, after observing Trixi eat her pizza by the slice (al taglio) , that Caruso hit upon the idea of the rotary blade slicing device that you see here.
As his opera career was just beginning, Caruso wrote in his diary that, should his Opera career decline, he had hopes his new and innovative pizza slicer would find commercial success and provide financial security for his family. History tells us that he need not have worried.