The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Bill
  • Bill
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Italy
  • early 16th century
  • Iron or steel and copper alloy
  • Length: 89.5 cm, blade and socket
    Weight: 2.78 kg
  • Maker's mark
  • A929
  • European Armoury I
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Bill, having a spike of strong diamond section; the head of the usual form, with edged hook, salient forward edge and with a back-spike of diamond section stamped with the maker's mark on both sides; two lugs at the base; oblong socket (with bevelled edges) bound with a moulded copper alloy band; two side-straps. The surface is roughly incised along the back-edge with a series of crescents. Staff bound with spirally twisted, red and brown brocade studded with copper alloy-capped nails. Compare the similar bill A930.

    Italian, early-16th century.

    Provenance: comte de Nieuwerkerke.

    Illustrated by Vollon in his Curiositiés of 1868 (see Savill, 1980).

    A partizan in the Royal Armouries (Tower Inventory, VII-182), bears a somewhat similar mark, and it also occurs on an Italian halberd in the Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin (formerly in the collection of Museum für Deutsche Geschichte). A very similar bill with the same mark is in the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Kienbusch collection, cat., no. 521, pI. CXXI). Another is in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dijon. The same mark also occurs on a Spiedo alla friulana in the Armeria Reale, Turin (no. J231; Mazzini, 1982, no. 208, n. on p. 370).