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Old 30th November 2022, 04:51 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 75
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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