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Matchlock 10th August 2014 12:17 PM

Carvings and Etchings on Wrought Iron Barrels, Maces and Blades, Italy, ca. 1520-40
12 Attachment(s)
Hi there,

I started this thread on the grounds of a recent discussion we had on a decorative 19th century cast-iron reprodroduction of a wrought-iron highly decorated iron carved Italian mace of ca. 1530.
The etchings on that item were done in a primitive way but, as the whole was in 'aged' condition, it was deceptive to the inexperienced eye.

Please see:

For comparison, attached please find an ample bandwith of genuine Italian etchings and iron carvings on barrels, maces and blades, all wrought between ca. 1520 and 1540.

Please note that originally, all these ornaments were executed in high relief, and contrasted against a blackened ground; sadly, this contrast has been cleaned off in most cases and in the course of time.

Now here we go!

The first attachment depicts
a finely echted hunting sword, ca. 1535-40,
a very an ingeniously made patron/catridge box, ca. 1540-50, and combining multiple functions.

Both these items are preserved in the National Museum of Italy, the Palazzo del Bargello in Florence/Firence.

For the cartrigdge box, please refer to my thread

The patron is of wrought iron and copper soldered, doutbtlessly Augsburg or Nürnberg
made. The profuse etching depicts of a hunting scene integrating animals within a running gravine pattern. As I have pointed out recently,

the decorative pattern including grapevine bunches is a prestage of the trefoil (German: Dreipass-Ornament) which, in its most reduced and stylized form, just consists of three dots struck representing an inverted triangle.


Matchlock 10th August 2014 03:56 PM

12 Attachment(s)
One more detail of the patron.

Now let's start with the decoration on Italian maces, ca.1530-50.

First of all, I'd like to introduce you to some of their Late Gothic predecessors from the 15th century, starting with an unusually finely wrought sample which I photographed in the resereve collection of the Historic Museum of Lucerne, Switzerland. It still retains its original red lead (mimium) paint on the twisted haft (German: tordiert) plus the original cord binding covering the grip.


Michael Trömner

Matchlock 10th August 2014 05:51 PM

7 Attachment(s)
20 years ago, I photographed this overwhelmingly beautiful Late Gothic mace, ca. 1480-1500, preserved in almost pristine condition and retaining its original red green paint, the haft twisted (German: tordiert), the grip even retaining its original cord binding made of hemp, in the reserve collection of the Historic Museum Lucerne, Switzerland.

Autor's photos, copyrighted by Michael Trömner.

Matchlock 25th August 2014 06:24 PM

12 Attachment(s)
Now let's get to iron carving, the crowing event of decorating ironworks.

Please cf. my threads:

The two bottom attachments, as well as all attachments to the following posts, illustrate fine iron-carved North Italian barrels from former matchlock arquebuses, ca. 1520-40, all from items sold by the auction house of San Giorgio, Genova, unless stated otherwise.


Matchlock 25th August 2014 07:04 PM

12 Attachment(s)
More barrels from sales held by San Gorgio's, Genova.


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