The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Partizan
  • Partizan
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • France
  • c. 1610
  • Iron or steel, oak, gold, mother-of-pearl and copper alloy, engraved and gilded
  • Length: 80 cm, including socket
    Weight: 2.46 kg
  • A1004
  • European Armoury II
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Partizan, with a flat, tapering, two-edged blade with central fuller; the lower part, where there are three projecting lugs on each side, is pierced and the edges shaped as crowned dolphins, the heads of eagles and of grotesques. The surface in this area, which is fire-gilt, is rather crudely chased with acanthus and other foliage, bearded profile heads, and an oval cartouche bearing on one side a male figure in classical armour holding aloft in each hand a laurel branch, and on the other side a figure of Atlas or Hercules supporting the Heavens. Tapering socket decorated with bright flutes alternating with gilt ribs incised with foliage, and with a knob which is of square section with a grotesque mask on each vertical part and is inlaid on the four faces with rectangular plaques of mother-of-pearl crudely engraved with profile heads (probably 19th century).

    The head is secured to the staff by two straps engraved with scrolled foliage and gilt, and is held in position by a bolt which pierces the haft-socket at the base and forms two horizontal projections; neither straps nor bolt are reproduced by Asselineau and may be restorations. Oak haft of octagonal section studded with brass-headed nails; spiked ferrule with plate (modern).

    French, about 1610.

    Laking, European Armour IV, p. 348, fig. 1418. Not apparently exhibited in the Musée Rétrospectif, 1865. Asselineau, pI. 105, fig. 5 (Baron); L'art ancien, V, no. 538 (Spitzer); Lièvre, Musées et collections, 1 Ser., pI. 58 (Spitzer); and Musée Graphique, (pI. 5; Wallace).

    Provenance: Baron Sale, Roussel, Paris, 19-24 January 1846, lot no. 204, Pertuisane italienne, d'un bon travail de la renaissance.; Frédéric Spitzer; Musée Rétrospectif, 1865, no. 583; There is no evidence that A1004 was in the collection of the Comte de Nieuwerkerke as was previously thought.