The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Cinquedea
  • Cinquedea
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Italy
  • c. 1490
  • Steel, bronze, gold, copper, copper alloy and ivory, etched and gilded
  • Length: 54.6 cm, blade
    Width: 9.5 cm
    Weight: 1.09 kg
  • Inscription: 'DEVS · IN NOMINE · I TVO · SALVVM · ME FAC ·'
    Maker's mark: Bladesmith's mark
  • A742
  • European Armoury I
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Cinquedea, composed of an arch-shaped hilt shod with gilt bronze, decorated with figures in low relief; strong, curved, steel guard, flat in section, lightly etched with shields and trophies; grip, made in one with the pommel and bound with plaques of ivory and pierced with four circles of brass. It has on either side, inset between the ivory plaques, a gilt, copper band inscribed:

    DEVS · IN NOMINE · / · TVO · SALVVM · ME FAC ·
    (God in Thy name make me safe)

    The broad, flat blade has four and two hollowed panels from base to point; it is decorated at the base with groups of allegorical figures holding banners (? A Triumph) surmounted with busts, amorini and a line of foliage, finely etched and originally gilt; there is a bladesmith's mark on one side. The figures on the end of the pommel-cap are, on one end, a naked youth standing between curtains in a rectangular niche, and, on the other, a female figure lightly clad in classical dress bearing a spear in her right hand also in a rectangular niche (? Diana). The female figure closely resembles one on the pommel-cap of A499.

    The punctuation marks of the inscription are crosslets as on A740. The blade appears to have been entirely re-etched (C. Blair, personal communication, 1975).

    Italian (Ferrarese), about 1490.

    Skelton I, pl. LXII, fig. 4 (?); Laking, European Armour III, fig. 852. Oakeshott, Archaeology of weapons, 1960, pl. 22b.

    Provenance: Possibly that of Sir Samuel R. Meyrick.

    The decoration upon this cinquedea resembles the work of Ercole dei Fideli of Ferrara. See also A743, 746 and 748.

    The mark resembles that on the sword of Gian Giacomo Trivulsio, Marshal of France, now at Vienna (inv. no. A455), which Boccia and Coelho ascribed to Ferrara about 1499 (1975, figs. 242 and 278).