Cinquedea, Short Sword



The Cinquedea [Ching-kwi-dey-uh] has held a long fascination for everybody at Cold Steel. It gained popularity as the sidearm of choice for noblemen walking through the narrow alleyways and walled cities of Italy. A blade worn exclusively for civilian self-defense, it was essentially the precursor to the civilian side sword and the rapier – and yet, this instrument of personal protection seems to have owed much of its design to fashion as it did to the cut and thrust of mortal combat!

Surviving examples of these unusual short handled and steeply tapered blades are often highly embellished and ornate with etched or gilded blades and deep multiple fullers that border on jewelry rather than weaponry. But beneath the romanticisms of High Renaissance fashion lay a tool made with purpose. A wide, stiff cut-and-thrust blade that could be brought into play in confined spaces, and deliver a mortal wound!

Cold Steel’s interpretation of the Cinquedea is made from expertly heat-treated 1055 high carbon steel with highly engraved guard and pommel and hand-carved rosewood grip.
The Cinquedea is sold complete with a leather scabbard with engraved steel throat and chape.

The cinquedea is a civilian short sword (or long dagger). It was developed in northern Italy and enjoyed a period of popularity during the Italian renaissance of the 15th and early 16th centuries.

The name cinquedea means ”five fingers”, and it describes the width of the blade next to the guard. The blade was heavy, about 45 cm (18 in) in length, and tapered to a somewhat rounded point. The grip was simple with a small pommel, and the guard was curved with the concave side toward the point. There were typically several fullers along the wider sides of the blade to lighten the weapon. The wide blade was useful for decorative etching. This weapon was varied in size, being anywhere in size from 10″ to 28″. It was often carried in place of a knife or larger sword. It is depicted in period art as being sometimes being carried horizontally next to the buttocks so that it could be drawn laterally from the back.

– Material: 1055 high carbon steel
– Overall length: approx. 52 cm
– Blade length: approx. 36.8 cm
– Blade thickness: approx. 3 mm
– Handle length: approx. 15.2 cm
– Weight: approx. 814 g
– Including leather scabbard with steel fittings

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