Tenebris Post

art-of-swords:

Cinquedea Shortsword

  • Dated: early 16th century
  • Culture: Italian
  • Measurements: blade length 57cm (22 1/2 inches)

The sword has a broad flat tapering blade formed with a pair of near full-length shallow fullers and a slender central flat on each face and decorated on each side with pairs of engraved roundels including the figure of Marcus Curtius leaping into the abyss.

The forte us engraved on the respective faces with a panel of scrolling foliage above the Judgement of Paris and a classical triumph. The panels are divided by the central slender flat engraved with the inscription ‘Virtus Omnia Vincit’ (Virtue Conquers All) on one side and ‘In Domino Confido’ (In God I trust) on the other. The forte decoration has traces of original gilding.

The iron hilt comprising arched quillons is engraved with classical profile roundels flanked together by a Pegasus to either side and scrolling renaissance foliage. The shaped tang is enclosed by a pair of gilt panels chased with the inscription ‘Nunquam Potest Non’ and ‘Esse Virtuti Locus’ (there must ever be a place for virtue).

The grip has on each side a shaped ivory panel over a horn fillet (both cracked and chipped, the ivory and horn perhaps later), the former being engraved with a laurel swag, pierced with four holes of differing size and each fitted with a brass collar, and three retaining their tracery rondels on each side (one missing).

The inscription around the tang is a quotation from Lucius Annaeus Seneca’s Medea. The form of the blade is similar to a cinquedea preserved in the Musée de l’ Armée, Paris (inv. no. MA J 34). For related examples see L. G. Boccia & E. T. Coelho 1975, nos. 190-238 and C. Blair 1966.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Thomas del Mar