||THE WHISTELS OF NOVE or, as Venetians say, “I
CUCCHI DEE NOVE “ Where Nove ( that is the name of a little town near Bassano)
perhaps Stands for nine or new house .
The “CUCCO” (whistle) : a call of friendship
The “cucco” is maybe the first sound toy of ancient times: its origin
is lost in the mist of time but we can find animal-shaped or human being-shaped
whistel in the most remote civilisation as a result of the ingenuity and
fantasy of the first moulders of our mother father Adam. In more
recent times the “cucco”could be bought on the stalls of country village
festivals as a humble many-coloured toy for poor children or as a token
of love given by the “moroso” (lover) to his “morosa” (sweetheart) who
was very happy to play it.
The “cucco” usually had the shape of a bird, the cuckoo, and limited
It is proved that the “cucco” not only brings luck but also has magical
powers. When you are in low spirit, if you blow tour sighs into the “cucco”
you will get a magical soothing sound evoking the song of the cuckoo in
the woods at the beginning of springs, an infallible call of lova
A good advice: keep a “cucco” on tour bedside table and its sound will
surely have a strong aphrodisiac power for you and for youe true-love.
The “cucco” in the picture on the left with a Napoleonic soldier astride
of it takes its original from the witty resentment of the ceramist from
Nove against Napoleon and his troops, violences, robberies and wipe-outs.
It is a harmless but meaningful almost prophetic revenge: Napoleon is unsaddled
from his superb steed and is relegated on a “cucco”!
“CUCCHI” (whistles) AND “ARCICUCCHI” (big whistles)
Once the little “cucchi” of Nove migrated towards the towns or villages
of the Venetian region or elsewhere to popular festivals and feasts when
the call of spring resounded. They were the ancient symbol of the awakening
of nature and of the hopes all human beings. They were played just for
fun by simple people and by children and they were the pretext for proverbial
It seems that the traditional “cucco” (the one with the soldier) appeared
in Napoleonic times. Its popular-like decoration painted in brightly-coloured
brush stokes and its shape (as well as the one of more simple whistles)
have been used up to now.
The stylisation seems to be due not only to fashion or taste but also
to the necessity of coming to the essential result with the the least complications
as the whole whistle was and still is handmade.
Keeping the same theme the “arcicucco” with its shape, dimension and
colours suitable for these times pays a right essential homage to the tradition
of our Venetian land. It is a new invention and has also got the aim of
attracting attention on this humble but beautiful expression of ceramic
The “arcicucco”, whic at least is 25-30 centrimetres high, has a different
shape according to the inspiration and the mood of the artist. The theme
is resumed with variations which suit the particular function of this object.