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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 9:35 pm    Post subject: How was a cinquedea used?         Reply with quote

Looking at this blade I can't decide if they are generalist weapons or specialized for cutting or slicing or thrusting? I'm leaning toward thrusting and slicing due to the shape but I've never handled one and I'm unaware of any accounts of their actual use. Does anyone here know of anything? Feedback of handling modern replicas would be appreciated as well as it could shed light on how the real thing 'feels' in the hand.

Jean

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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 9:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The rounded point on a lot of them also throws me off.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 10:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
The rounded point on a lot of them also throws me off.


Well a spatulate point if really sharp makes for wicked tip cuts and are still very effective in the thrust if no armour is in the way and I think they where mostly civilian wear weapons for " show/fashionable " and self defence.

If heavy enough they should be able to give a decent chopping cut like any short sword or bowie type knife ( Only comparing it to a bowie knife because of size and weight and not blade profile ).

I think that the cinquedea would be used in the same way as any large knife or short sword for those with blades longer than 15" or so and maybe more dagger ice pic grip with smaller blades ? Although the longer rondels would and could be used in ice pic grip as very long blades are difficult to block using wrestling moves as the longer blade can still get to you even if one block the incoming knife arm.

With daggers wrestling skills often come into play and dagger fighting is the most dangerous of all as the range is so short that one has little reaction time to react and defend: They don't call it closing into " dagger range " for nothing when things get up close and personal and very VERY dangerous.

By coincidence just had a rondel dagger and wrestling seminar a couple of weekends ago and the ways to easily destroy one's opponent elbow joint(s) are numerous and scary. ( One has to practice these with great care and control or one will quickly run out of training partners ).

Oh, a one day seminar doesn't make one an expert in any way but it does give a good idea of the type of techniques that one can use. Wink Big Grin

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Josh MacNeil




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Jul, 2009 10:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know from experience, as I've never handled an antique or reproduction (the type doesn't interest me a whole lot). But I've looked through the albums here on myArmoury and have done a little research in the past. From what I can gather, the cinquedea was a dual purpose weapon; effective in both the cut and the thrust. There appears to be some moderate variation in blade geometry and profile on originals, so I imagine that these would make for some slight variation in use (cut or thrust) depending on the individual weapon. Some have tips that are very acute with diamond cross sections while others have broader more spatulate tips.
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul, 2009 4:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My guess is that they could do both, depending on circumstance. If you face someone wielding a dagger, you strike. Against a sword, you close and thrust or grapple.

I would think that the fighting style would be similar to dagger fighting, with a lot of close up action and grapling, but with rapid strikes taking the place of icepick stabbs.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul, 2009 8:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jean,
You should do a search, as this subject has come up more than once. Here's one thread that might help:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...=cinquedea

The short answer is that there are a lot of weapons that fall under this category. I've seen one that was about three feet long, making it more or less a sword. There's one in the NMAI museum here in DC that is about sever or eight inches, with a very thin blade, making it more or less a dagger. They also come in different weights, and some are more narrow while others are more broad. Most of them seem to have a good cutting edge and a narrow thrusting point, regardless of size.

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--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


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Christopher Gregg




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PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul, 2009 8:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
The rounded point on a lot of them also throws me off.


Well a spatulate point if really sharp makes for wicked tip cuts and are still very effective in the thrust if no armour is in the way and I think they where mostly civilian wear weapons for " show/fashionable " and self defence.

If heavy enough they should be able to give a decent chopping cut like any short sword or bowie type knife ( Only comparing it to a bowie knife because of size and weight and not blade profile ).

I think that the cinquedea would be used in the same way as any large knife or short sword for those with blades longer than 15" or so and maybe more dagger ice pic grip with smaller blades ? Although the longer rondels would and could be used in ice pic grip as very long blades are difficult to block using wrestling moves as the longer blade can still get to you even if one block the incoming knife arm.

With daggers wrestling skills often come into play and dagger fighting is the most dangerous of all as the range is so short that one has little reaction time to react and defend: They don't call it closing into " dagger range " for nothing when things get up close and personal and very VERY dangerous.


I agree with what Jean says here. I own a few cinquedea replicas (I really love this type - don't know exactly why), and in general, I'd say they stab and cut really well, just like a large belt knife. I assume that during the period of their popularity, they were a big fashion statement, and did a respectable job of providing self defense, until civilian rapiers came into fashion.

As far as handling is concerned, an ice-pick grip is only going to work well on models with more slender grips. The cinquedeas with the somewhat "coffin" shaped grips are better held more like a Viking sword, where they can thrust and slice back and forth. I don't have any formal training in fighting with these little guys, but their various hilts seem to indicate a certain style of useage. I imagine it was quite heart-stopping to get into a back alley fight with these quick and deadly little swords! Eek!

Christopher Gregg

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul, 2009 8:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some earlier cinquedeas has diamond section blades, wheel pommels, and bored-through sword-like grips. Later ones had a vestigial "pommel" knob, flatter grip, and a flatter blade. So there was some variation in the class. Happy
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2009 7:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks guys. I don't understand why this was moved to off topic isn't this an historical weapon discussion?

Jean: yeah I trained with Jay Vail a couple of times doing some Fiore dagger and I've also done some Meyer and Marozzo dagger work. I know what you mean about the elbow locks etc., Renaissance dagger fighting is a brutal system.

I am aware of the short dagger sized cinquedea I was more interested in the larger sword sized ones, specifically if they were decent choppers or more suitible for slicing. Has anybody done any test-cutting with the replicas?

With the center of mass so close to the hilt you might think they wouldn't chop well, but somewhat counterintuitively I have noticed over the years that the 'triangular' blades with sharp profile taper tend to cut very well, like my little Albion Constable (Oakehott XVa)

I've never test cut or seen test cutting with a blade with as exxagerated an edge-profile as a cinquedea. What I want to know is if it can cut well or just really slice.

J

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2009 7:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
Thanks guys. I don't understand why this was moved to off topic isn't this an historical weapon discussion?


Because the question/topic is about usage, not about the weapon itself. It's a fine distinction, but one worth making. Our usage/martial arts topics typically go here, in the off-topic forum.

If you have any questions about what moderators are doing, message us. We typically have good reasons for what we do and would be happy to explain our thought process and allay any concerns you might have.

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2009 7:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
I've never test cut or seen test cutting with a blade with as exxagerated an edge-profile as a cinquedea. What I want to know is if it can cut well or just really slice.

J


It's really going to depend on the example. An example with a somewhat narrower diamond section blade ought to be better in the thrust. Wider, flatter blades ought to be a little different. Dagger length cinquedeas will handle differently than short sword or arming sword length cinquedeas.

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2009 2:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:

Jean: yeah I trained with Jay Vail a couple of times doing some Fiore dagger and I've also done some Meyer and Marozzo dagger work. I know what you mean about the elbow locks etc., Renaissance dagger fighting is a brutal system.

I am aware of the short dagger sized cinquedea I was more interested in the larger sword sized ones, specifically if they were decent choppers or more suitible for slicing. Has anybody done any test-cutting with the replicas?


J


A neutrally balanced blade or one with the COG close to the guard there might not be as much chopping power as a more forward balanced " BIG " knife but I don't think the cutting power would be something to underestimate as it shouldn't take that much weight for a fast and sharp blade to cause very deep wounds.

As with the pointy thrust oriented swords that can be surprisingly effective in the cut, they may be less effective than a type XIII or a Type X in the cut but more than adequate.

Comparing with a bowie or a kukri I'm sure the cinquedea would be a lighter chopper but then a bowie or kukri can also be used as a utility bush or tool knife while the cinquedea would just be a weapon and no one would be using one to cut like an axe.

Oh, the training seminar was from people practising Fiory dagger and wrestling with the dagger and is something our director wants to include in our curriculum of German Longsword, and yes it does seem particularly brutal and effective.

Now, it would be useful to have people who have cut various types of targets with large cinquedea to give us their impressions instead of my just speculating about them.

I would also think that a gladius, a large kindjal, kyber knife, messer would have similarelies in effectiveness and tactical use 6

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Last edited by Jean Thibodeau on Thu 09 Jul, 2009 8:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Steven Reich




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2009 3:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

About the only material (that I know of) which seems to cover anything close to a cinquedea (i.e. a two-edged weapon that falls somewhere on the border between dagger and sword) would be Marozzo's material for Pugnale, Chapters 52-57 and Pugnale e Cappa, Chapters 58-63. These techniques use a combination of thrusts and cuts and include a fair number of parries mades with the Pugnale. This material is quite different from the appendix in the back of Marozzo's treatise (i.e. unarmed vs. dagger, knife, or stiletto)--as the material in the appendix is basically to ward off an assassination attempt whereas the 'Pugnale' material is very similar to the material for single-handed sword. However, like in nearly every Italian treatise on swordsmanship prior to 1800, Marozzo doesn't go into the characteristics of the weapon beyond calling it a dagger instead of a sword.

I assume that we're talking about the "dagger-sized" cinquedea here; there are examples in museums that pretty much everyone would call a sword (i.e. with blades over two feet long).

Steve

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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2009 5:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
As with the pointy thrust oriented swords that can be surprisingly effective in the cut, they may be less effective than a type XIII or a Type X in the cut but more than adequate.


I am aware that is the conventional wisdom, but my experiences have led me to believe the pointy longswords are among the best cutters for a hand and a half weapon, or at least modern replicas of them cutting against soft targets.

I remember one cutting party at Aaron Schatternleys house several years ago (before katrina), there must have been 25 swords there, mostly high-end albions and a few A&A, mostly type X and XI and XX. The best cutter by far was the Brescia Spadona, and the little constable was easily in the top ten That is why I bought it a year or two later (since I couldnt' afford the Brescia).

Since then I've seen the same thing repeated at dozens of events, most recently two weeks ago at a training event we did in Hammond where we were cutting soft targets but also large pieces of meat. Maybe I've just had odd experiences or don't know people who cut well but I have been convinced by the evidence of my own eyes until I see different.

I have no idea if this works the same way with shorter weapons though, or something with the odd shape of a cinquedea.

J

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Steven Reich




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2009 6:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rather than worry about the *ideal* abilities of a cinquedea, instead, just consider what it can do even moderately well. Say you have a longer cinquedea--i.e. so that it is long enough to be considered a "sword". Then how do you use it? Well, take a look at the Bolognese material for Spada da Filo (i.e. sharp sword). If you don't have an offhand weapon/shield, then start most attacks with a thrust; if you do have an offhand weapon/shield, then start most attacks with a thrust but also use cuts. You'll follow up (i.e. your second and succeeding attacks with a compound attack) will be thrusts or cuts depending upon the opportunities presented. Even if the Cinquedea in question is not the ideal cutter, you don't have to completely dismember your opponent to make a cut worthwhile. Even the 17th century material (i.e. the 'rapier' stuff) includes some cutting, so apparently it wasn't totally useless even with a relatively poor cutting weapon like the 'rapier'--a cinquedea should be at least as much of a threat with the cut as a rapier...

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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 6:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would asume that that the primary functuion of large dagger/small swords would be to "outgun" the regular dagger.
In an age where everyone carried some kind of knife or dagger, a self defence weapon would need to be long and scary enough to intimidate.
A comparison could be made to the long "misericorde" dagger carried by camp followers and such.

What sets the cinquenda appart is the broad blade. This could either be to inflict particularly nasty stab wounds, to give the design enough mass to cut, or both.

Againt a similar weapon, a thrust would be a good opening move. Against a dagger, strikes against the hand would probably be better, since your advantage is reach and cutting power. Against a sword, thrust, bind, grapple and strike.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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