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Old 26th June 2016, 02:31 PM   #1
Zauberflöte
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Default 16th century halberd; origin??

Dear all,

This appears to be a German halberd; can anyone share anything about the makermark?

Thank you.

F.
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Old 26th June 2016, 03:07 PM   #2
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Can you show us more of this nice halberd, F ?
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Old 27th June 2016, 01:58 PM   #3
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Looks Swiss-ish, maybe 17th century?

If you look at the relative thickness of the contact point of the blade to the length of the blade, the closer they are to being the same, the older the piece.

Could you post a picture of the head?
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Old 27th June 2016, 06:19 PM   #4
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These are the best for the moment (do not yet have the halberd in hand at the moment).

Hope these help.
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Old 28th June 2016, 02:27 AM   #5
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Have a look at http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=halberd where an identically stamped weapon is at #1.

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Old 28th June 2016, 09:50 AM   #6
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But not the same, though

.
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Old 28th June 2016, 12:45 PM   #7
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The style of the pictures looked so familiar to me.

...and indeed there are far better pictures.

http://www.hermann-historica.de/auk...db=kat72_AW.txt
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Old 29th June 2016, 03:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Have a look at http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=halberd where an identically stamped weapon is at #1.



Brilliant Ibrahiim!!!
Following the links leads to the original source of this halberd, apparently one of a pair several months ago discussed on other forums. While not 'exact', it is compellingly like the mark of a Pankraz Taller, a blacksmith for the Styrian armory in Graz c. 1575-1612. The mark is the same 'X' in cartouche with two 'dots' (?)
It seems halberds had these stamped cartouches in the same location on rear blade 16th-into 17th.
While markings sources I checked revealed no others like this, nor mention of Taller (reference was "Euro Journal Heft" 1/2000 in article Katharina Ulbrich discussing blacksmiths in this armory). ....I did find another crossed lines mark with added lines geometrically configured. Also another cartouche with initials HW as shown in post here and another circular found elsewhere.These all on halberds late 16th.

In Wallace Coll. (Mann, 1962, A953, p. 452) is a similarly bladed halberd also with brass rosettes, but highly decorated, no markings, German and dated 1593 with motif to Archduke Ernst (1553-1595).
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Old 29th June 2016, 11:59 AM   #9
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Allow me to show my surprise, Jim.
The differences between the marks of both examples are rather visible. While the one from the link has the unequivocal mark of Pankraz Taller, with its shape of a shield and X cross interior with dots, the mark of the one in discussion has the shape of a square and, instead of dots, has an extra line departing from the X cross center. I guess such details could not be result of bad striking and constitute differences that enable us to establish that the two marks belong to different smiths.
But then, i might be wrong and am ready to stand corrected.


.

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Old 29th June 2016, 01:03 PM   #10
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Default Speaking of bad striking ...

This is how Craig Johnson at MyArmoury concluded that the mark in my Styrian halberd was that of Pankraz Taller, after i had a comment from Reinhart Dittrich from Landeszeughaus Graz suggesting (only suggesting) so.
Needless to say that, before Craig's excelent demonstration, i had strong doubts such assumption.

.
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Old 29th June 2016, 05:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Allow me to show my surprise, Jim.
The differences between the marks of both examples are rather visible. While the one from the link has the unequivocal mark of Pankraz Taller, with its shape of a shield and X cross interior with dots, the mark of the one in discussion has the shape of a square and, instead of dots, has an extra line departing from the X cross center. I guess such details could not be result of bad striking and constitute differences that enable us to establish that the two marks belong to different smiths.
But then, i might be wrong and am ready to stand corrected.


.


Not at all Fernando, actually you are entirely correct, the marks while 'similar' are different, however the gestalt and positioning of these marks are compellingly close in these cases.
I was unable to find marks of Taller in any of my resources on markings, and wondered if perhaps being a 'blacksmith' within the auspices of the armoury might have precluded the usual markings protocols associated with guilds etc in the broader scope of production.

Also, I was wondering if these variations in the 'X' inside either square or shield type cartouche might reflect changes or possibly subtle indicators having to do with production record keeping or the like. It seems that often markings of the same 'type' occur in odd or different configurations or combinations, such as seen with 'sickle marks' and others like the familiar 'kings heads'.
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Old 29th June 2016, 07:58 PM   #12
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I'm impressed by your observations gentlemen, many thanks so far.

So Austrian origin (or German such as HH claims) is a safe bet?

Best.

F.
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Old 29th June 2016, 09:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zauberflöte
I'm impressed by your observations gentlemen, many thanks so far.

So Austrian origin (or German such as HH claims) is a safe bet?

Best.

F.


As once pointed out to me by a well respected arms author, weapons have few, if any, geographic boundaries. In most of the markings references I checked, halberd markings in many cases had double captions German/Austrian and of course Swiss fell into similar umbrella.
Naturally if the maker can be positively identified we can presume at least that part of the weapon can be attributed accordingly. Often components were exchanged across borders, as were refurbishings during working life.

A very nice halberd example in any case!
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Old 30th June 2016, 03:15 AM   #14
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I didnt want to post until today and draw attention to an item the OP might be bidding on. See the auction from today June 29th, 2016, Thomas Del Mar, Lot 160 for a very similar example.

In my opinion, the style is so similar to the other known Styrian builds that they could easily be placed together.
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Old 30th June 2016, 12:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
As once pointed out to me by a well respected arms author, weapons have few, if any, geographic boundaries. In most of the markings references I checked, halberd markings in many cases had double captions German/Austrian and of course Swiss fell into similar umbrella.
Naturally if the maker can be positively identified we can presume at least that part of the weapon can be attributed accordingly. Often components were exchanged across borders, as were refurbishings during working life.

A very nice halberd example in any case!



Thank you Jim, Whilst not perhaps 100% exact it is easy to suggest that these are the same makers mark... however, I am always ready to listen to other conclusions and have learned a lot already in tracing these weapons... a far cry from my usual haunts of Arabian and Indian weapons.
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Old 30th June 2016, 12:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
As once pointed out to me by a well respected arms author, weapons have few, if any, geographic boundaries. In most of the markings references I checked, halberd markings in many cases had double captions German/Austrian and of course Swiss fell into similar umbrella.
Naturally if the maker can be positively identified we can presume at least that part of the weapon can be attributed accordingly. Often components were exchanged across borders, as were refurbishings during working life.

A very nice halberd example in any case!


Thank you!
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Old 30th June 2016, 03:22 PM   #17
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Perhaps the only halberd typology claimed to be exclusive of one only region (Switzerland) is the "Sempach", due to its particular shape. It was so named after the battle of Sempach (1386). This early style resurged in the late XVI century and again in the late XVII century by commission to Lamprecht Koller, although specialists (George A. Snook) remind us that this 'late' version only resembles the original, contrary to general belief.
I am not sure where precisely my example falls, on what touches a date, even when i compare its maker's mark with a set quoted to be from the mid XV century.

.
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Old 30th June 2016, 05:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Perhaps the only halberd typology claimed to be exclusive of one only region (Switzerland) is the "Sempach", due to its particular shape. It was so named after the battle of Sempach (1386). This early style resurged in the late XVI century and again in the late XVII century by commission to Lamprecht Koller, although specialists (George A. Snook) remind us that this 'late' version only resembles the original, contrary to general belief.
I am not sure where precisely my example falls, on what touches a date, even when i compare its maker's mark with a set quoted to be from the mid XV century.

.




Fantastic bit of history and detail Fernando!!! For a history nut like me these tidbits are pure treasure, and the kind of key information I look for in footnotes etc. Often I have browsed through references just reading these kinds of data. Thank you for adding this.

In looking at these markings, they seem very much the 'mullet' type charges seen in heraldry, and on a number of sword blades these are among groupings of marks termed 'cogwheels' (Mann, 1962, Wallace Coll. ).

It is interesting that in cases, the markings from polearms such as halberds cross into the realm of sword blades, and I wonder if these kinds of marks sometimes occur in groupings as collective stamps placed by varied workers or vendors. It seems these blades on polearms were made by blacksmiths rather than swordsmiths (though the two often interceded) but possibly armourers, who were more arms 'brokers and others might account for marks appearing in groups.
Not necessarily relevant in this case I guess, but just curious.
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Old 1st July 2016, 03:43 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
I am not sure where precisely my example falls, on what touches a date, even when i compare its maker's mark with a set quoted to be from the mid XV century.

Hi Fernando,
Thank you for sharing this item from your collection, I think it may be an intriguing piece one way or the other... It has some features that I tend to associate with some of the various 17th century models of "Sempach" halberds, but I cannot find a perfect match with any such halberd specifically, and the mark in particular might convince me of an earlier dating.

For my own interest I have been comparing halberds and maker's marks... A useful reference is the website of the Swiss National Museum; their online catalogue has been updated recently and now includes photos and details of more than 1,000 halberds - mostly "Sempach" halberds and others from the 17th century.

http://www.nationalmuseum.ch/sammlu...sID=53&numOf=30

I recognize several of the marks you have shared... The square mark with the diagonal bend and three dots belongs to a Jakob Ringier of Zofingen, d. 1586, according to the Swiss Museum. They have about a dozen examples, and I have found a few in other collections also. All are very similar in shape and style. I haven't yet found any other information about this smith.

http://www.nationalmuseum.ch/sammlu...0&sID=&numOf=30

From what I have found so far, the five pointed star with open center and the eight(?) pointed star within a pentagon occur nearly exclusively on halberds with quite similar overall geometry as the Ringier halberds -the blade is always straight and slanting forward, the back-spike is of strongly triangular form. A few halberds with each of the three marks also share other decorative markings of similar style. The Swiss Museum has many examples of both marks on halberds that they date to 1540-60. In Hafted Weapons in Medieval and Renaissance Europe, John Waldman suggests a slightly earlier range of dates for comparable examples: 1520-40. Snook is the outlier, dating the type much earlier, to circa 1500 (Snook's fig. 10 seems to possibly be the exact same halberd in Waldman's fig. 69a).
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Old 1st July 2016, 12:49 PM   #20
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Outstanding, Reventlov.
Thank you so much for the great input, links and excelent pictures.
I will keep the Swiss Museum links to my favorites and spend some time digesting all that material.
But say, when you compare Waldman's fig. 69a (a publication i have) with Snook's fig. 10 (?), are you sure about Snook's fig. number ... or does he have another work besides "The Halberd and Other Polearms of the Late Medieval Period" ?
By the way, my "Sempach" example was discussed HERE a few years ago.
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Old 1st July 2016, 01:59 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reventlov
.. A useful reference is the website of the Swiss National Museum; their online catalogue has been updated recently


Thanks so much for posting these examples. Here is one I own that I posted a little while back. Your post and links provide a wealth of info.

Obviously made by the same craftsman as the examples you posted- http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=20210
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Old 1st July 2016, 03:23 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
I will keep the Swiss Museum links to my favorites and spend some time digesting all that material. But say, when you compare Waldman's fig. 69a (a publication i have) with Snook's fig. 10 (?), are you sure about Snook's fig. number ... or does he have another work besides "The Halberd and Other Polearms of the Late Medieval Period" ?
Sorry, I should have been more specific! I'm referring to fig. 10 in The Halberd and Other European Polearms, 1300-1650. The content is basically the same as the other publication, where the same halberd looks to appear in fig. 5. Waldman's fig. 67b is the other relevant illustration, of another halberd with the five-pointed star mark.

Hopefully the Swiss Museum will continue to update the online collection... I know they have a number of much earlier halberds that are not included, and neither is their very interesting collection of medieval swords.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSinTX
Thanks so much for posting these examples. Here is one I own that I posted a little while back. Your post and links provide a wealth of info.

Obviously made by the same craftsman as the examples you posted
Casey, What a fine specimen you have! I have not seen a striped pattern like that before, but it is clearly a perfect match for style and technique with the others.
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Old 1st July 2016, 04:15 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
...But say, when you compare Waldman's fig. 69a (a publication i have) with Snook's fig. 10 (?), are you sure about Snook's fig. number ... or does he have another work besides "The Halberd and Other Polearms of the Late Medieval Period" ? ...

Please forget my question, Reventlov.
In fact, Snook has both the article i spotted in the web as also a publication called THE HALBERD and other European Polearms, which i also happen to have.
... and yes, you are right in that Snook's fig. 10 is no doubt the same as Waldman's fig 69a.
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Old 1st July 2016, 04:56 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reventlov
... and neither is their very interesting collection of medieval swords. ...

What i have is this excelent printed catalogue, gift of an illustrious forum member. Pity it is in german, of which i don't pick a word. But the pictures speak for themselves.


.
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Old 1st July 2016, 05:13 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
What i have is this excelent printed catalogue, gift of an illustrious forum member. Pity it is in german, of which i don't pick a word. But the pictures speak for themselves.
Well I am very jealous then... I have browsed this catalogue several times at a university library a few hours from where I live, but have only ever had time to make the briefest notes.
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Old 1st July 2016, 10:18 PM   #26
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Default Halberd and some Atmospheric Stuff !!

Often associated with Halberd artwork is the Ethnographic nature of warfare in those days... Camp followers abound bringing to life the weaponry of the day for comparison......I include a weapon development chart and various battle scenes..including Pavia between The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and Francis 1 of France.

There was even a fighting technique as displayed by the two exponents below described as "A Depiction of halberd combat, from the Opus Amplissimum de Arte Athletica, a martial arts manual by 16th century German master Paulus Hector Mair".
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Old 2nd July 2016, 04:54 PM   #27
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Beautifully posted illustrations Ibrahiim!!! This adds fascinating dimension to understanding more on these interesting polearms, for those like myself, who are new to deeper study of them. The spirit of our dear departed friend Michael, the Mighty Matchlock.....lives on!!!

Fernando, I join Reventlov in envy of your having such a resource!! This as well as your connections with Mr. Daehnhardt are certainly key elements augmenting your outstanding knowledge and experience with these arms.
Your sharing these kinds of details really help in these discussions.

Thank you all for this great discussion.........really helps to learning more on these halberds and their history .
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Old 2nd July 2016, 09:23 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... Fernando ...This as well as your connections with Mr. Daehnhardt are certainly key elements augmenting your outstanding knowledge and experience with these arms. ..

Thank you Jim; yes, but not only .

And speaking of evolution of (polearm) forms, let me show you how it went chez moi.


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Old 2nd July 2016, 10:42 PM   #29
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Additional food for thought... Here is the only halberd (apart from Fernando's) that I have found so far with one of these star marks that is not of the same general type as the other examples above. Perhaps it is not really the same mark however - the star has seven points, the outline is more oval than pentagonal, and the placement of the mark on the back-spike is different than all the other examples. It is in the Castle Museum of Pszczyna, in Poland.

Coincidentally, a halberd of exactly the same form appeared in the most recent auction of Thomas Del Mar. This weapon bears a different mark, that resembles a pair of tiny halberd heads. This mark also appears on a pollaxe-like halberd in the Deutsches Historisches Museum, and on a glaive in Vienna from the bodyguard of Ferdinand I, engraved with the date 1551. I haven't been able to find a photo of this glaive... it has inventory number A869, and should be listed in volume 2 of Thomas and Gamber's Katalog der Leibrüstkammer. I only have the first volume...

http://www.thomasdelmar.com/Catalog...16/lot0150.html
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Old 3rd July 2016, 04:14 PM   #30
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Looks like the star was in the menu of countless smiths ... with the maximum possible variations.
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