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Please Share My Happiness

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:32 pm
by Hugh
I just ordered this Cinquedea sword from Michael "Tinker" Pearce, a swordsmith out in Seattle, WA. A Cinquedea is an Itallian shortsword and is so named because it is approximately five fingers wide at the base of the blade and was carried by the young bravos during the Italian Renaissance (think Romeo, Mercutio, & Tybalt from the Shakespeare play, "Romeo and Juliet") in a mid-back scabbard. This was a location where it could easily be hidden by a medium cloak. My guess is that it was used rather like the similarly sized Bowie Knife of later days. The blade on Tinker's Cinquedea is 2.875" wide at the base and 13.75" long. The hilt totals 6.625" and the whole weighs 1.5 pounds. I should imagine that it would give a wicked back cut and would make a great cut and thrust weapon. I had been drooling over it for some months and I finally ordered it. It should be in my hands by the end of next week.

For pics of it, go to the following webpage and look at the second item down:

Hi Hugh

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:28 pm
Beautifully made sword.

I recently purchsed a paul chen Gladius-having run out of patience with other types.

I will post a picture.

It also appears a proper replica and only lacks the leve of polish (1700 grit) that yours has.

I wiill post a couple of sword pics and I do share your Happiness.

I Maine they used to saay "ypu can judge a man by how sharp he kkeps his knife".

In friendship and sword mania


PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:53 pm
by f.Channell
Thankfully he didn't have any Scottish dirks or Sgian Duhb's for sale or I might have had to order an early present for myself.

I love Iaido, but I am a highlander and a sgian duhb and a bagpipe's call is all I need. :lol:


PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 6:08 pm
by Hugh
Did you happen to wander over to his Scottish Dirks page? I know that he hasn't any for sale at the moment, but those are some of his very best works. They are just gorgeous, IMO.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:21 pm
by f.Channell
I wasn't going to pass up looking at those.

I bought a sgian duhb last year which turned out to be a plastic piece of junk. Those looked beautiful.


PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:27 pm
by Hugh
The cinquedea arrived last night and it is all that I had expected it to be. Tinker's work is simply exquisite. THe carving on the oval grip is of interlaced vines and not the Celtic or Norse style of interlace that I had initially thought it to be. it is actually more in keeping with the historical time and place of use of cinquedeas during the Italian Renassiance as well as providing a great texturing for a more secure grip.

The six fullers on each side of the blade are very uniform and neatly done. The grind lines are straight and true and the fittings are all tight with no play. The balance is interesting to me as my only frame of reference for a large bladed knife is the Bowie and all Bowies that I have felt have a bias toward the blade, but this cinquedea has a very slight bias toward the hilt, with the balance point falling just at the rear of the guard. It would seem to interfere with the weapon's ability to slice and/or cut as a price for its extreme mobility. And Tinker's cinquedea has that extreme mobility. I cannot say that it is exactly light in the hand but I can say that it is a very, very quick weapon.


PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:00 pm
Could you pronounce this weapon's name out for us phonetically.

Can you share any history with respect to this design?

A hilt biased sword seems to me to have the advantage in most combat situations. It is a wonderful looking piece of work.

Until I read more about it and study the period in time and political and geograpical background against it was set, my comments would lack any real insight.

Generally, as some do, but none on any recent threads, folk wait in ambush for what you say, then, if they can find anything in the thread to criticize, they will make their critiques, them more or less fade to gray while the Moderator pieces 5 or 6 pages of explanation to bail himself out, even if the targetted comment was not particularly central to the thread criticized.

One was "Phyrric Danse-Euro Kata?"----first came the wave of "i got i got it, Phyruss was a Macedonian King"

The name came from that!!!

Well, the tag existed prior and I will not turn Hugh's thread aside.

Without any research: was this design the product Rennaisance times and Machiavellian Italy?
Was it a common design. Would it's us have ben a favored one by the Condotierri?

Did its expense of production limit its usage?

If it did, what type of short weapons would have seem use for similar purposes among the 'rank and file".

Thanks for the insights


PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:18 pm
by Hugh
Cinquedea: Sink-a-da-ah (I think :) )

They came in two forms, a large dagger and a shortish riding sword. The sword form was apparently used more for dress purposes than in actual combat from what I have been able to determine but the dagger form was very popular in Italy in the latter 15th and the 16th Centuries when it was carried by the young men in the various factions in the towns that made up the city states of Italy at the time. As I said, think of the brawl that begins Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" and you would have some idea of the context. Remember that most towns and cities had ordnances forbidding the citizenry from carrying swords within the city limits so the large daggers became all to common as a replacement. Remember also that the dress for young men at that time was tight hose, a codpiece and a short doublet that left no place to hide something the size of a cinquedea. Therefore, they were carried in the small of the back and were frequently very highly decorated and stylized as fashion pieces as well as weapons.

As to whether the condottieri used them, I don't know, but I cannot see why they would bother as they were carrying swords and military daggers. The cinquedea was essentially a civilian weapon. Think .38 Special revolver as opposed to a 1911A1 in .45 caliber or .30-30 Winchester Mod. 1894 as opposed to an M16A2. The civilian versions will certainly work as weapons but the military ones will work so much better.