The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Sword
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • 19th century
  • Iron, steel, gold, bronze and silver, chiselled
  • Length: 80.6 cm
    Width: 4.7 cm
    Weight: 1.17 kg
  • Incised mark: C-scrolls
  • A498
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Arming sword, modern in the style of the Italian Renaissance. The pommel is flat and shield-shaped in form, chiselled with Renaissance decoration enclosing an oval cartouche on either side of Justice and Fortitude in relief on a gilt ground; shaped grip chiselled en suite in low relief and enriched with punched spots (pointillé) filled in silver and gold; crossguard curving towards the blade, decorated with masks, in the middle with garlands, and on the back with scale ornament; double-edged blade, with a single fuller (except at the forte, where there are three), pierced, incised with C-scrolls.

    The form of this object is that of a rich Italian parade sword of the High Renaissance. The blade has been deeply pitted and, at one time, over-cleaned; the surface is now a dull laden colour suggesting the use of acid.

    There is a cinquedea in the Musée de Cluny, Paris (Edouard de Beaumont Bequest), with a hilt of similar design; another is in the Louvre (Laking, figs. 655, 654). Compare also the beautiful sword of Cesare Borgia, which is preserved in the family of the Duke of Sermoneta (Prince Caetani); its scabbard of cuir bouilli is in the Victoria and Albert Museum (no. 101, 1869). It is reproduced by de Beaumont (Fleur des Belles Epées), and in Laking, II, figs. 648-9, C. Blair, ‘Cesare Borgia's sword-scabbard’, Victoria and Albert Museum Bulletin, II, pp. 125-36. There is another in the Lazaro-Galdiano Museum in Madrid, the hilt of which is open to doubt.