The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Cinquedea
  • Cinquedea
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Italy
  • c. 1480
  • Steel, bronze, gold, ivory and copper alloy, gilt, engraved and etched
  • Length: 52.4 cm, blade
    Width: 9.4 cm
    Weight: 1.035 kg
  • Inscription: '· EXITVS NON CAVSA · I QVERITVR BELLI ·'
    Maker's mark: Bladesmith's mark 16.5cm from hilt
  • A748
  • European Armoury I
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Cinquedea, the arch-shaped hilt shod with gilt bronze, engraved with foliage. The grip, made in one piece with the pommel, consists of two plaques of ivory inlaid with four circular ornaments in brass (possibly a restoration); the sides, of gilt copper or bronze, are inscribed:

    · EXITVS NON CAVSA · / QVERITVR BELLI ·
    (It is inquired not what is the cause but what is the issue of war)

    Curved guard, of steel, oblong in section, etched with scrolled foliage. The blade of flat diamond section has two hollows from base to point; it is deeply etched near the hilt and gilt, comprising four upright panels of figure subjects (one shows a bear erect) with scrollwork above, and a narrow band of vase and flower ornament up the centre; there is a bladesmith's mark on both sides, 16.5 cm from the hilt, the same as that upon A741, 743 and 747.

    Italian, about 1480.

    Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1868, p. 420, no. 7, pl. facing p. 414; De Beaumont Catalogue, no. 9 and pl. 1; Laking, European Armour III, fig. 952.

    Provenance: Comte de Nieuwerkerke.

    C. Blair suggested that the etching was either 19th-century or had been re-worked (personal communication, 1975).