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Old 30th November 2022, 05:51 AM   #1
Pitt1999
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Default Antique Sardinian knives and daggers

I would like to start this thread by thanking fellow user chregu for putting me in contact with the collector who I purchased these pieces from. What I present you with today is what remained of a Sardinian arms collector's collection. By the time I contacted the collector, the examples of the most well known Sardinian sword, the leppa de chintu had all sold. These pieces that I purchased are very interesting (to me at least) and it surprises me that these pieces were not nabbed up before I got to them. Half of these knives are simple shepherd's knives, made for any purpose a knife could have been used for. The other half of this group are in my opinion purely martial weapons.

Knife #1 is the first of the martial weapons, this knife seems to be a simplified variation of a style of knife found in Genoa. An interesting feature of this knife is the presence of a crudely checkered area of the blade stem showing that this knife was meant to be handled with the thumb riding along the flattened blade stem.

Knives #2, #3 and #4 are all humble examples of the iconic Sardinian bladed weapon known as leppa de chintu. The collector referred to these more simple and utilitarian examples as leppa de carru, which is a term I have not seen used before he used it. I asked what this meant and he said the term was used to refer to a knife kept in a person's cart or wagon (carru in Sardinian) used in a manner similar to a short machete. Knives #2 and #3 seem well suited to this purpose, while knife #4 is more of a general utility knife for lighter tasks. These knives are characterized by a shorter, thicker blade and are tool first, weapon second. Leppa de chintu are a weapon first, tool second.

Knife/dagger #5 at first looks to be a common mid to late 19th century European dagger, possibly a piece that you would see with a Sheffield maker's mark on it. Upon closer inspection this piece exhibits cruder craftsmanship compared to pieces from European factories, leading me to believe this was produced in Sardinia as an imitation of European small daggers or dirks.

Knife/dagger #6 might be the oldest piece in my collection. In my efforts to find more information on these 6 knives, I contacted a collector in the U.K. who told me that this dagger could be from the 17th century. This piece has some interesting features, only half or two thirds of the blade is edged. For being what was probably considered a high status dagger at the time, the construction is very simple. The hilt is of full tang construction with an iron or steel bolster and guard. There is the remains of decoration on the handle scales but it is too faint for me to recognize any clear patterns or designs.
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Old 10th December 2022, 12:16 AM   #2
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those leppa can be like little shashkas.
Sardinia is an interesting location for ethnographic weapons as cold weapons were still carried quite late and there is a number of distinct styles of weapons that were used by the locals .
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Old 10th December 2022, 08:27 AM   #3
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I can't help but for me numbers 2, 3 and 4 are looking like kitchen knifes
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Old 11th December 2022, 05:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado26 View Post
I can't help but for me numbers 2, 3 and 4 are looking like kitchen knifes
they are not kitchen knives but knives worn on Sardinians belts.
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Old 11th December 2022, 12:28 PM   #5
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I did not say that these ARE kitchen knifes, I said that they look like kitchen knifes.
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Old 16th December 2022, 01:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado26 View Post
I can't help but for me numbers 2, 3 and 4 are looking like kitchen knifes
That is a problem with collecting Sardinian edged weapons. Sardinian swords (leppa de chintu, abbreviated to LDC for convenience) tend to look pretty distinct if it is a higher quality example, well engraved brass plates on the hilt with the scabbard usually of matching quality. The lower quality examples carried by shepherds and the like are more difficult to identify because they lack the elements that make the high quality examples easily identifiable. The more simple examples are horn or wood hilted like mine rather than having the finely decorated metal hilt plates present in the high quality blades. The blades also differ, but don't seem to change often between high and low status examples. The sword length weapons, LDC, can often be found with recycled sword blades which I read in one article came from Spanish swords. But there were (and still are) also high quality blades forged in Sardinia. The knives carried by common men were more than likely made using recycled steel or worn out tools. I have seen at least one example that appeared to be made out of a file or rasp.
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Old 22nd January 2023, 10:21 PM   #7
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Adding some recent additions to my collection of Sardinian edged weapons. The three swords I do not yet have in my possession, the knife I received recently but haven't gotten around to photographing it yet so these are the sellers' photos.
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Old 29th January 2023, 11:04 PM   #8
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I received the three swords the other day. They all appear to use recycled sabre blades, one of which still has some very faded engraving which looks similar to the engraving found on some Spanish sabre blades. Two of these swords look to have utilized the tip section of the recycled blade while the other swords looks to have used the middle section of the recycled blade.

The blades (in my opinion) appear to me to be from three different countries. The three fullered blade looks like the type of blade you see coming from the various companies in Solingen. The blade with the montmorency fuller reminds me of the type of blade found on French m1822 sabres. As previously stated, the last sword appears to use a section of a Spanish sabre blade. I made an attempt to photograph the engraving, but the combination of a lack of a good photography setup and the condition of the engraving made for a poor outcome.

If there were embellishments of any kind on the hilts of these swords, there aren't any present on two of the three swords. One of the swords has two five pointed stars along with four of the ever popular the world over "dot in circle" decorations.

None of them are in particularly good condition. They all exhibit various degrees of corrosion in the blades, warps in the blades, damaged tips along with losses to the horn hilt scales.

While I am not certain if there are regional differences with the styles of hilts, two of these swords are possibly from the same region. Both of them display the same three pronged formation at the end of the hilt.
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Old 29th January 2023, 11:06 PM   #9
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More photos...
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