The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Glaive
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Venice, Italy
  • c. 1620
  • Iron or steel, gold, copper alloy and silk
  • Length: 87.7 cm, including socket
    Length: 17.8 cm, straps
    Weight: 3.52 kg
  • A945
  • European Armoury II
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Glaive, with a tall head having a curved cutting-edge; shaped projection at the back with a spike of diamond section, the whole is pierced with three groups of nine oval holes; at the base two spurs of trefoil shape (one point broken off); socket of octagonal section with two short straps at the side. The surface of the blade is decorated with figures and scrolls worked with a small annular punch on a gilt ground; in the centre a coat of arms: Barry of six, with a lion of St. Mark in the dexter canton, for Venier of Venice. The original tinctures of the Venier arms are argent and gules, the lion of St. Mark gules. For another variety of the Venier arms see the glaives A947-8; compare also the companion glaive A946. Octagonal staff (modern) studded with brass-headed nails and furnished with a silk and gilt-wire tassel.

    Italian (Venetian), about 1620.

    Skelton II, pl. LXXXV, fig. 3 (?); Laking, European Armour III, fig. 899(a).

    Provenance: Lxxx (de) sale, Oudart, Paris, 29 January 1868, lot 70; Oudart's receipted bill, 29 January 1868, 655/r.; Nieuwerkerke (archives of the Collection; S. Gaynor, personal communication, 1984).

    The glaive reproduced by Skelton closely resembles A945, and apparently bears the same arms, but slight variations in detail make it difficult to decide, without corrobarative evidence, whether it is this glaive or one like it, that is represented.

    The Royal Armouries have two similar but simpler glaives with these arms, which are presumably slightly earlier (nos. VII. 946-7).