The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Cinquedea
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Italy
  • c. 1500 - c. 1620 (blade (Italian))
    probably c. 1600 - 1620 (pommel)
  • Steel, iron, silver and gold, gilded and blued
  • Length: 27.8 cm, blade
    Width: 0.7 cm
    Weight: 0.53 kg
  • Maker's mark 9.5cm from hilt
  • A739
  • European Armoury I
Images & Media
  • Cinquedea, composed of a flat, trapezoidal pommel of steel with a tang button, piqué with scrolls and gilt; curved, ridged guard widening at the ends, pricked and gilt; iron and silver wire-bound grip; flat, tapering blade with four, three and two hollowed panels from base to point, blued and decorated in succession with allegorical figures, busts and arabesques formed by means of selective fire-gilding. Corrosion has left in low relief the areas originally protected by the gold.

    The figures are thus described by De Beaumont: une image de saint auréolé, revêtu d'une cuirasse e tenant une hache; sur l' autreface est représentée l' Intempérance (sic), sous la forme d' une femme versant à terre le contenu d' un large flacon ou chantepleure. The arabesques are in the same style, and possibly from the same hand, as those upon the dagger, no. A738. There is a bladesmith's mark on both sides 9.5 cm from the hilt.

    Pommel associated, probably about 1600-20; guards of uncertain date; blade Italian, about 1500.

    De Beaumont Catalogue, no. 77

    Provenance: Comte de Nieuwerkerke

    A 'three grayned staff ' formerly at Hever Castle bears the same mark (sold Sotheby's, 5 May 1983, lot 139, repr. in cat.).