Victorian Cinquedea Dagger
- Provenance: The William Ashby Collection
The Cinquedea (“five fingers”, in reference to the blade width) was a popular civilian sidearm originating in Northern Italy circa 1525-1550. This is a Victorian example measuring 22 3/4 inches overall, the blade is 17 inches long and 3 1/2 inches wide across the base, with ten fullers on each side, arranged in four expanding rows from tip to base, the last two rows on each side are decorated with golden scroll and leafy vine patterns, extending 9 inches upward, surrounding a 2 inch wide scene of a Greco-Roman deity on each side.
One side features Jupiter/Zeus sitting in his chair, lightning clenched in his fist, while Aquila, the eagle responsible for carrying and guarding the bolts, looks on. The reverse shows Pluto/Hades seated on a throne with a scroll in his hand, while Cerberus, the 3-headed guard dog of the underworld, is seated beside him and a cypress tree in the background. The gold decoration continues on the guard and pommel, with a pair of smooth ivory grip panels fitted with cut-through metal disc accents.
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