The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Cinquedea
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Italy
  • possibly 19th century
  • Iron or steel, gold, bronze, copper and wood, blued, etched
  • Length: 31.1 cm, blade
    Width: 7.8 cm
    Weight: 0.61 kg
  • A738
  • European Armoury I
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Cinquedea, comprised of a flat, rosette-shaped pommel of gilt bronze: curved guard, chased with roping with knob-like terminals, also of gilt bronze; grip of wood bound with fine copper wire woven into a pattern; flat, tapering blade with three, two and one hollowed panels from base to point, blued and decorated in gold on either side in succession, with nude classical figures, busts in panels, chequers and arabesques. There are remains of foliation on the bevelled edges of the blade. On the blade the gold has been applied to areas and lines slightly etched into the surface of the metal.

    The whole object is probably 19th-century.

    L' Art Ancien IX, no. 1010.

    Provenance: Frédéric Spitzer.

    The decoration on the blades of this cinquedea and nos. A739 and 740 is distinct from the etched style usually associated with this type of weapon because it is flat and not bitten. Dr. Jan Lauts has drawn attention to this group in Z.H.W.K., XIV (1936), pp. 122-6, and illustrates other examples in the Musée de l' Armée at Paris (J 777 and 779), and the Bargello at Florence (illustrated by Laking III, p. 78, and in Les Arts, October, 1902, p. 13).

    A very similar weapon, with closely comparable hilt and a blade decorated in the same style, is in the Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan (inv. no. 2370; 1980 cat., no. 616).