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Eric Feder




Location: Alhambra, CA
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Nov, 2014 12:14 pm    Post subject: Historismus cinquedea?         Reply with quote

Hello Everybody,

I bought this cinquedea on eBay recently. The seller, quite honest, described it as probably 19th century and "possibly earlier". I bought it because it was so well made and nicely antiqued in appearance, but with the resignation that it was in fact probably no earlier than Victorian. Unfortunately, I got into a bidding war with another bidder (the Seller told me the underbidder was from Italy!!) and ended up paying way too much for a Victorian copy. In any event, as I said it's very well-made (note the fullers) and try as I might, I can't find similar 19th or 20th century repros/historismus examples with this kind of good fuller work in auction catalogs (Czernys, Bonhams, San Giorgio, etc) or online. Moreover, the cinquedea totally lacks any remnants whatsoever of the etching/inlays that cinquedeas are known for. I'm thinking that anybody putting that much effort into a repro cinquedea would at least attempt to copy some period etching. In short, I'm wondering if in fact it could be genuine c. 1500 without the embellishment one sees on most published examples. I totally admit I may be in denial and just wishing on a star here since I paid too much money...

I'd be interested in hearing your opinions.

Rick Feder



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Nat Lamb




Location: Melbourne, Australia
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Nov, 2014 2:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can't add any expertise or experience to your situation, but the second last image is interesting. The patina is a little more worn away on the ridge lines between fullers more towards the hilt, makes me wonder if this could be from a scabbard rubbing away and having a minor polishing effect.
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Eric Feder




Location: Alhambra, CA
Joined: 31 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Nov, 2014 3:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Nat. That's an interesting observation. I hadn't noticed that. If that's true, it might point to it being earlier than 19th century. I should say here that one of my biggest reasons for originally agreeing with the Seller's 19th century dating was because the exposed edges of the hilt in this photo looked a little bit too sharp, too perfect a 90%, like they were machined, to be c. 1500 work.


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Hector A.





Joined: 22 Dec 2013

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PostPosted: Tue 11 Nov, 2014 4:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Judging from the lines and the type of rust my gut is telling me its not original, but it must have been very beautiful in its time etching or not.

Kindof like an Albion in 800 years, to perfect to be original, but a beauty of CNC carving Wink.
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Christopher Gregg




Location: Louisville, KY
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PostPosted: Wed 12 Nov, 2014 7:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a couple of pics of a cinquedea sold by Museum Replicas in the early '90's, made by Windlass Steelcrafts. Other than the side lugs on the hilt, it's nearly identical - especially the fullering on the blade and the detailing on the pommel. Could yours be an antiqued version of this?
Christopher Gregg

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M. Livermore





Joined: 20 Aug 2008

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PostPosted: Wed 12 Nov, 2014 7:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher, if I look very closely, those don't look like side lugs. I think the grip material is cut away but not around a lug. I remember that piece and it does look very similar to the one in the OP.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 12 Nov, 2014 6:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm personally of the opinion it's a 20th century reproduction made by WIndlass.

Edited to add: I should have looked at the whole topic. Thank you for adding the photo. Before it was aged it was ground to be more convincing. I used to own one of these. Mine didn't have that cut-away grip around the lug area as it's being called here and it had three pins. It also had a riveted guard which always annoyed me. The same tang/grip slab mechanism and placement seals the deal for me. I wonder if I have an old photo of it.

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Eric S




Location: new orleans
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PostPosted: Wed 12 Nov, 2014 7:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric Feder wrote:
Hello Everybody,

I bought this cinquedea on eBay recently. The seller, quite honest, described it as probably 19th century and "possibly earlier". I bought it because it was so well made and nicely antiqued in appearance, but with the resignation that it was in fact probably no earlier than Victorian. Unfortunately, I got into a bidding war with another bidder (the Seller told me the underbidder was from Italy!!) and ended up paying way too much for a Victorian copy. In any event, as I said it's very well-made (note the fullers) and try as I might, I can't find similar 19th or 20th century repros/historismus examples with this kind of good fuller work in auction catalogs (Czernys, Bonhams, San Giorgio, etc) or online. Moreover, the cinquedea totally lacks any remnants whatsoever of the etching/inlays that cinquedeas are known for. I'm thinking that anybody putting that much effort into a repro cinquedea would at least attempt to copy some period etching. In short, I'm wondering if in fact it could be genuine c. 1500 without the embellishment one sees on most published examples. I totally admit I may be in denial and just wishing on a star here since I paid too much money...

I'd be interested in hearing your opinions.

Rick Feder


Is there any doubt, can you ask for your money back? Even if the seller honestly believed his sales pitch he was not being accurate and this item was totally misrepresented.

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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Nov, 2014 1:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maybe this one, 19th century or whatever, inspired Windlass reproduction?
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 321

PostPosted: Thu 13 Nov, 2014 3:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They're not the same - look at the modern one - the quillon/scale join on new one is rounded but on the 'old" one its straight across.. Also, look at the oblique close-up photo of the quillons - there appears to be 2 rivets going through the quillon just below the tang. And, - maybe it's just an artefact of corrosion - but am I seeing the faint outline of another rivet on the TOP side of the quillon, roughly in line with the outside edge of the fuller ? Also, the new one has 2 pins in the grip, 3 on the old one
It's quite possible this is a 19th C reproduction, and both it AND the new version are based on the same original ?
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Eric Feder




Location: Alhambra, CA
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PostPosted: Sat 06 Dec, 2014 10:47 am    Post subject: Historismus Cinquedea         Reply with quote

Blush My sincere apologies for my tardiness in replying to everyone who was kind enough to respond to my original post: I have not been onsite for a few weeks.

Thanks very much for your comments/observations, all of which were very well taken. Well, I guess I'll just have to live with having paid way too much money for a repro. Eric S: I really don't like to ask for refunds from dealers or eBay sellers unless there appears to be an obvious attempt to deceive. As I mentioned, this dealer made an honest effort to describe the cinquedea accurately as probably 19th century and I bid on it with that understanding.

I'm just curious though as to why somebody would go to such lengths to create a decent repro in terms of the blade (and it IS decent looking) yet rivet the cross guard instead of just fixing it some other more historically accurate way. Were none of the originals riveted? From an aesthetic point of view the rivets are certainly a distraction and out of keeping with the quality and appearance which we usually associate with cinquedeas, i.e their typical elaborate blade decorations (at least the ones always shown in books). However, in terms of a true, and plain, fighting weapon, wouldn't the rivets be superior for durability purposes?

Rick
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
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PostPosted: Sat 06 Dec, 2014 11:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really don't think this is a Windlass piece, or at least not this particular Windlass piece.

The shape of the grip is entirely different even aside from the number of rivets, the proportions and shape of the guard are slightly different even beyond the "lug", and the pommel is also different in overall shape and a number of details. What's more, these aren't the sort of differences you'd see resulting from mere manufacturing inconsistencies, and I can't see them being the result of deliberate modification, either, as some of them would require you to add material in places.

Of course, this doesn't mean it's not a modern reproduction - possibly even a somewhat different model from Windlass, although personally I rather doubt it - but I'm quite confident it's NOT the model posted here. Maybe if Nathan finds a picture of that other one he used to have, it might match, but as far as I can see this one does NOT.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings


Last edited by Mikko Kuusirati on Sat 06 Dec, 2014 12:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Sat 06 Dec, 2014 11:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Riveting was a way to secure a broken tang that was welded to the blade after being broken, so it is not unthinkable that some smiths did the riveting through the guard to secure a bad fitted guard. Even if it is not something we have seen on surviving examples, it is not something that screams "MODERN"...
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
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PostPosted: Sat 06 Dec, 2014 12:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Historismus Cinquedea         Reply with quote

Eric Feder wrote:
I'm just curious though as to why somebody would go to such lengths to create a decent repro in terms of the blade (and it IS decent looking) yet rivet the cross guard instead of just fixing it some other more historically accurate way. Were none of the originals riveted?

Some were, certainly. For example, the late 15th Century blade posted in this thread has rivet holes very much like your's.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Daniel Sullivan




Location: California
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Dec, 2014 11:39 am    Post subject: Hitorismus Cinqueda         Reply with quote

Eric,

My thoughts ..... At best you have an original and at worse case a very well done replica. In most cases phony patinas were done quickly to cop a few fast bucks, hence very evenly distributed over the whole surface. A patina that varies as much as this, i.e. the pitting, worn surfaces, evidence of old corrosion/rust, and scabbard wear such as Nat pointed out, would be very time consuming to replicate. It would have to be done in several stages to achieve look like this look, several applications of various chemical and maybe some handwork. A not very cost effective process. Aside from the general patina, the scaling only in "protected" areas is interesting and appears to be authentic. Some of the rust(red) is recent and just tends to put the rest of the patina in perspective..

Concerning the lack of fancy rivets, etching, and such: Elementary to most of us, but sometimes forgotten..... Not all could afford the best in arms, so there had to be some plain, unadorned, or even homely pieces for the lower echelons. The trend up until maybe 100-150 years ago was that only the elaborate pieces (recognized as art) were preserved. All else was thrown back into the pot. Despite that, we now know that some rather common and crude stuff survived.

All that said, it is a interesting piece and I would not pass it up .... Of course price is always a consideration.

Regards,
Dan
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Dec, 2014 2:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric Feder wrote
Quote:
'm just curious though as to why somebody would go to such lengths to create a decent repro in terms of the blade (and it IS decent looking) yet rivet the cross guard instead of just fixing it some other more historically accurate way.


As far as I am aware the guards were riveted in place originally. The grip tang was often far thicker that the blade and so the guard can not be slid down from the pommel end and so the only option is to slide it up the blade and set it against the tang or scales. There is then nothing to stop the guard sliding back off, as the grip does not hold it like conventional swords/daggers, so rivets were used. The ones I have examined had the rivets widely spaced toward the outer shoulders of the blade and structurally this makes more sense than having them close to the grip. These swords are usually very well made and the fit between the blade and guard is so good (presumably hot fit) that at first glance looking down from the pommel the blade and guard often look as one and likewise the rivets are so well set and dressed back that they take some hunting to find.

If those rivets are the only ones then I would question this piece, as it would be stronger and support the guard better to have them far out from the grip and so if there are two rivets I would expect them further apart. If there are other well dressed rivets further out in addition to these two then I would not be concerned with there being rivets.

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Eric Feder




Location: Alhambra, CA
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Dec, 2014 2:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mikko, Luka, Daniel, and Leo,

Thank you all very much for your insightful comments! Leo, it does appear that there are only the two centrally located rivets present so in that regard I guess it argues against it being an original. On the other hand, Daniel, your comments gave me a bit of hope! As you said, at worst I have a very well made repro. And a nicely aged one for that matter. Wink Wink

Rick
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