The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Poll-axe
  • Poll-axe
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Venice, Italy
  • c. 1530
    19th century (staff)
  • Steel, engraved and etched
  • Length: 27.2 cm, top spike
    Height: 23.7 cm, blade
    Width: 24 cm, blade to hammer
    Weight: 2.33 kg
  • Maker's mark Stamped
  • A927
  • European Armoury I
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Poll-axe, with a large blade having a curved cutting edge, the inner edges engrailed; balanced at the back with a hammer with oblong, dentated face, like A926. The top-spike, of diamond section, is wide at the base and narrows to a slender four-sided section, stamped with the maker's mark on either side; two steel side-straps; modern octagonal staff spliced to a portion of the original staff within the side-straps. The blade and hammer are decorated with strapwork etching, now much defaced.

    Italian (Venetian), about 1530.

    Skelton II, Pl. LXXXIII, fig. 4.

    Provenance: Sir. S. R. Meyrick.

    Compare somewhat similar, but smaller, etched axes in the Royal Armouries (VII.64, .1353 and .1354), and in the Doge's Palace at Venice (Lucia series 9, nos. 183, 184), though the etching here is somewhat different in style (see Boccia and Coelho, 1975, pls. 267-9).