The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Mace
  • Mace
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Italy
  • c. 1540 (head and steel demi-haft)
    probably 19th century (grip)
  • Iron or steel and wood, etched
  • Length: 63.5 cm
    Weight: 1.47 kg
  • A982
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Further Reading
  • Mace, with a large head of seven flanges, of simple cusped form with concave edges. It is surmounted by a finial in the form of an acorn. Tubular steel socket ending with a band of roping. Grip or haft of briar or thorn wood with a knotted surface, which is probably 19th-century. The flanges of the head are decorated with conventional, scrolled foliage, on a hatched ground, the socket with spiral lines and delicately etched vines and tendrils.

    Italian (?), about 1540.

    The acorn, often found on German maces, may not in this case be the original one and possibly replaces a larger finial. The etched decoration is in the Italian style, but as this had spread to Germany by the middle of the 16th century it is not a sure indication of nationality.

    A comparable mace is depicted in the portrait of Galeazzo Sanvitale by Parmigianino, dated 1524, at Naples (Capodimonte, cat., no. 111).