The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Glaive
  • Glaive
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany
  • 1551
  • Iron, etched
  • Length: 73 cm, including half-socket
    Width: 7.2 cm, at greatest
    Weight: 2.66 kg
  • Inscription: 'MATER DEI MEMENTO MEI 1551'
    Inscription: 'F · A' with crown
    Inscription: 'WI' and 'IIA'
  • A938
  • European Armoury I
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Glaive, with a tall head with a curved cutting edge, double-edge towards the point; square socket bearing the maker's mark, four iron straps on the staff. The blade is inscribed and dated along the back-edge of each side:

    MATER DEI MEMENTO MEI 1551

    and has an etched panel mid-way containing the crossed timbers of Burgundy and the bricquet of the Order of the Golden Fleece surmounted by a crown and the letters F ∙ A on a granulated ground of the future Emperor Ferdinand I, as King of Bohemia and Hungary. The haft lacks its ferrule and is deeply incised with the initials WI and less deeply with the initials HA, presumably those of two different Archer Guards who carried this particular weapon.

    German, dated 1551.

    The ragged St. Andrew's cross passed, with other armorial Burgundian attributes, to the house of Austria after the marriage of the heiress Mary, daughter of Charles the Bold, to Maximilian I in 1477.

    In March 1551 Ferdinand I met his brother, the Emperor Charles V, at Augsburg in order to settle the question of the Imperial succession. As a result Ferdinand was designated the heir instead of the Emperor's son Philip II. O. Gamber suggested that the glaives of this type dated 1551 might be connected with this event, perhaps inspired by those carried by the Emperor's bodyguard (letter of July 1984).