Cinquedea - inv. 2369

Emilia, first half of 16th century

1500-1510 ca.
steel   ivory   brass   enamel  
570 mm (410 x 100 mm), 1060 g
1879 bequest Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli
Inv. 2369


The cinquedea ( meaning “five fingers”, cinque dita) was a luxury dagger five fingers wide. It was used in the Emilia-Venetian area between about 1480 and about 1510. In this cinquedea part of the blade is damascened with gold enamelling. On one side it represents Hercules Lifting Antaeus and on the other the Judgment of Paris, with a tree, a column and a flying Cupid. The flat of the blade on each side is marked on with a “Z” in antique style, very common on this type of sword.