Ribaldo is a recreation of a beautifully proportioned early 15th century Italian sword, one of over 170 bearing inscriptions from the Arsenal of Alexandria in Egypt. The original was sold by Sotheby's i 1979. This sword is very similar to the one in the Royal Armory collection and likely forged by the same sword maker sometime before 1432.
"Ribaldo" is the name of Italian skirmisher troops who would have used this sort of type XIX sword at early 15th century. In art the "Ribaldo" troops are often seen with light armor, a shield and a spear and with this type of arming sword.
The typology of this sword is Oakeshott XIX which was popular during the 15th century. The complex blade features a ricasso, flat hexagonal blade that change to lenticular shape at the tip. This geometry make Ribaldo a capable cut and thrust arming sword.
The sword has a very early example of a guard for the forefinger, which was an early step in a series of developments that would lead into increasingly complex hilts of the later 15th century and beyond. By looping the forefinger over the unsharpened ricasso, a user would be better able to align the edge when cutting and also gain a more refined control of the tip. Having the finger in front of the cross-guard would leave it vulnerable on a simple cross-hilted sword, hence the development of the protective hook.
The recreation of this sword is a collaboration between LK Chen and Matt Easton, who offer much valuable guidance and advise, as well as providing the dimensions and specifications of the original Italian sword.
Approximations only, all measurements subject to slight variation for each swords
Minor adjustment can be made for the first production run
Total length: 109.8 cm (43.23")
Blade length: 93.4 cm (36.77")
Hilt length (handle only) : 10.5 cm (4.13")
Pommel length: 5.3 cm (2")
Total Weight: 970 grams (2 lb 2.2 oz)
Point of Balance (from hand guard): 20 cm (8.0")
Point of Percussion (from hand guard): 62 cm (24.4")
At hand guard: 3.95 cm (1.56")
At Point of Percussion: 3.3 cm (1.30")
At hand guard: 5.25 mm
At Point of Percussion: 3.0 mm
Width of hand guard: 13.65 (5.34")
Handle width: 3.36 cm (1.32")
Handle thickness: 1.75 cm (0.7")
Length: 5.3 cm
Width: 5.1 cm
Thickness: 1.4 cm
Oakeshott Type XIX cross-section : see below
Steel GB 60Si2MnA
High Carbon Manganese Spring Steel (Compare to AISI/SAE 5160 spring steel) Element % 60Si2MnA AISI/SAE 5160
Carbon 0.56-0.64 0.56-0.61
Silicon 1.60-2.00 0.15-0.35
Manganese 0.60-0.90 0.75-1.00
Phosphorus <=0.030 <=0.035
Sulfur <=0.030 <=0.040
Chromium <=0.35 0.70-0.90
Nickel <=0.35 <=0.25
Hardness 52-54 HRC.
Medium to Low firing and through quenching for hardness
Hand guard and pommel: Mild steel
Scabbard chape: Brass
Handle wood: Ash
Handle wrap: Black top grain 0.8 mm thick leather, with 2 raisers an pressed cord wrapped pattern
Scabbard wrap: Oxblood Oiled-Waxed fine top grain leather
At the forte, showing a ricasso of rectangular section with deep central fullers and deep outer grooves, plus incised lines.
At the point of balance, showing a flattened hexagonal section with a thin central fuller and 2 outer grooves.
At the center of percussion or striking point, c.60.9 from the forte, showing a flattened hexagonal section.
8 cm from the tip, showing a lenticular bladeform