The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Partizan
  • Partizan
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany
  • c. 1690 - c. 1700
  • Iron or steel, oak, copper alloy, silk and gold, chiselled
  • Length: 57 cm, excluding socket
    Length: 21.5 cm, socket and straps
    Weight: 5.52 kg
  • Heraldry: two eagles holding respectively a mace and a sword Probably the arms of Christian Wilhelm of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, Prince of the Holy Roman Empire
    Inscription: Crowned 'C · S · W' or 'C · W · S'
  • A1001
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Processional partizan, with a large, broad head with strongly-ridged and lateral projections in the lower part, shaped as the wings of an eagle; the blade screws into a socket of circular section fitted with two short straps. The head is boldly chiselled in low relief with two eagles holding respectively a mace and a sword surmounted with the crowned monogram C · S · W, or C · W · S. Since these initials cannot be identified with any member of the Imperial house, or of the houses of Saxony or Württemberg, they are probably those of Christian Wilhelm of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, who was created Prince of the Holy Roman Empire in 1693, and died in 1711. His arms had been augmented by the grant of an escutcheon charged with the imperial, crowned, double-headed eagle, and the same as a crest. He married (secondly) in 1684, Wilhelmina Christiana of Saxe-Weimar (whose initials also agree with the cipher); she died in 1712. The socket is turned at the top, and the short straps bear scrolls of conventional foliage chiselled en suite in low relief; the octagonal staff is of oak studded with fluted, pyramidal-headed nails; the ferrule of like section, ending in a knob; tassel of crimson and gold twisted fringe.

    German, about 1690-1700.

    L'Art Ancien V, 583.

    Provenance: Frédéric Spitzer, not as previously thought exhibited in the Musée Rétrospectif, 1865, no. 583.

    Another example is in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. One or other of these may be the example illustrated in the catalogue of the Peuker sale (Brussels, Le Roy, 28-30 August 1854, pI. IV, fig. 49, but not identifiable in the text).