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Old 28th January 2022, 09:12 PM   #1
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Default Questions about the Sardinian Sword, Leppa de chintu

This is a sword type that has caught my attention recently, it reminds me in it's appearance of a short bedouin sabre or one of those berber sabres. The two in this image are sadly not mine, I've had this picture on my phone for a while and forgot where I got it from. I imagine that if someone on the forum had one that they would be very eager to show it. Two questions come to my mind when I think of this sword. One, why do they seem so rare, it seems like something that you would atleast see labeled as something else like an old horn hilted machete. From what little information I know about them they seem to have been an everyday sort of sword for the people of Sardinia. My second question is about it's uses and purpose. Would this sword have been a pure fighting weapon or more of a multipurpose utilitarian long knife/shortsword. The average length of these seem to be conducive to a utility/fighting application like a machete or bolo knife. Thanks for your thoughts and comments.
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Old 29th January 2022, 03:50 PM   #2
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Location: Florence, Italy
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Hi Pitt,
the daggers in the photos you posted are actually Sardinian "Leppa de chintu" (belt blades); they are blades of variable length from 20-30 cm up to 50-60, with the handle typically made of horn or wood covered with a brass or silver sheet, with burin engravings.
It was a knife / sword used for defense, but also for more practical uses, as it has always been for the blades used by shepherds and farmers. It was certainly part of the traditional costume and was flaunted as a luxury accessory.
The photo you posted is part of a series that can be seen here: Archive/27- Archive/214-antiche-leppe-sarde.html
and shows two ancient leppes, with horn handles.
Many leppe of those dating back to the mid-nineteenth century mount blades from Spain.
Some Sardinian artisans still produce highly decorated leppe today.
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Old 29th January 2022, 10:11 PM   #3
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Thanks for the information! I knew that these were leppa de chintu, I guess I forgot to say that in the post. I've always liked the idea of a multipurpose sword that can be used for everything from ending a fight to picking mud from your boots or cutting branches from a tree. They seem like the perfect length for carrying while not getting in your way during the day. I imagine that I will probably never get to see an actual vintage/antique leppa de chintu in the U.S., but a guy can dream.
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