The recreation of this sword is a collaboration between LK Chen and Matt Easton. Valuable guidance and advice, as well as the dimensions and specifications of the original Italian sword was provided by Matt Easton and his contributions made this close replica of an original sword possible. The blade is forged from well tempered GB 60Si2MnA High Carbon Spring Steel so that it can flex and reliably return true – the blade is finished with a keen cutting edge to deliver powerful cuts and slashes. The guard and pommel are of steel and the wooden grip is bound in tight black leather. Included with the sword is a finely crafted wood-core scabbard which is bound in well-stitched oxblood-hue leather and completed with a protective brass chape.
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 in 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 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.