The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Halberd
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Italy
  • c. 1630
  • Iron or steel, copper alloy, velvet and gold, gilded
  • Length: 53.8 cm, including socket
    Length: 38.7 cm, straps
    Weight: 2.22 kg
  • A970
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Halberd, the head with a top-spike of flattened diamond section, pierced longitudinally in the centre; at the base six curved bands are grouped to form a hollow knob, each swelling in the centre and bearing a mask in relief; crescent-shaped axe-blade with concave edge and drooping fluke, both decoratively pierced; the whole roughly incised with bands of punched work, gilt; two side-straps, of which the upper portions are widened to form the socket; the staff of octagonal section, studded with brass-headed nails; portions of the velvet binding remain; the staff also has three bands of applied brass ornament consisting of fleurs-de-lys, dolphins, suns in splendor, and double-headed eagles, the dolphins and eagles both ensigned by a crown; turned ferrule of brass.

    Italian (?), about 1630.

    Skelton I, pl. XC, fig. 4 (?). Skelton's drawing shows slight variations in detail, but otherwise closely resembles A970.

    Provenance: Sir S. R. Meyrick (?); Frédéric Spitzer (?)

    Similar ornamental nail-heads occur on a halberd of this type in the Royal Armouries, no. VII, 1012 (Norton Hall Collection), and on another in the possession of Mr. W. J. Hemp.

    Compare the similarly incised (not etched) decoration on A971.