A cinquedea is a large dagger with a double-edged, triangular blade very wide at the hilt and fluted in straight lines to the point. The quillons (crossbar to guard the hand) are short and curve slightly towards the blade.
The name cinquedea is derived from the width of the blade which was supposed to be five fingers wide at the hilt, the name itself meaning “five fingers”.
The blade of a cinquedea is heavy, it has about 45 cm (15 in) in length, and is tapered to a somewhat rounded point. The grip was always made simple with a small pommel, and the guard was curved with the concave side toward the point.
The cinquedea was a civilian sword carried horizontally at the back in belt and housed in a leather or cloth-covered scabbard.
It was placed horizontally so that it could be drawn easily by the left hand. The blade was used primarily as a thrusting weapon designed for close combat and self defence.
There are very few variations in form but they were produced in a range of sizes. Most fall between daggers and short swords in length. Many had their blades etched and gilt and a few traces remain on this one. The Cinquedeas were developed in northern Italy particularly around Venice.