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Old 18th April 2021, 08:45 PM   #20
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 924

Originally Posted by colin henshaw
My guess is that it is a made-up piece (perhaps in the 19th century), and that the head did not originally belong to the pole. Possibly for Victorian period display purposes ??

I'm no expert at all with European weapons, but isn't it more normal for the langets to be actually attached/part of the polearm steel blade, for strength ?
Hi, Colin

To answer your questions, I pored through two references covering the subject:
1. Ewart Oakeshott, European Weapons and Armour from the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution, chap. 2, Staff-Weapons
2. Mario Troso, Le Armi in Asta delle Infanterie Europee 1000-1500 [Polearms of European Infantry...]

that comprehensively span the time frame during which these weapons evolved in a milieu of active use.

I was struck by the absence of this particular blade shape in the wide spectrum of piercing and cutting weapons mounted on shafts, at least in Europe. The closest thing is a weapon called a glaive, which is essentially resembles a chef's knife on steroids -- straight back and convex edge, sometimes back-edged at the tip. This, and related cutting weapons, also exceed the 18 inch blade length of the piece under consideration. Oh, another thing -- the swordlike fullering on its blade is not something seen on the polearms in these and other reference books/catalogs.

To address your question #2, yes, that seems to generally be the case. However, in the numerous photo-illustrated examples in the Troso book, there are a couple in which the langets appear separate. One, a 1640s partizane (p 110, no. 4) which looks to be a parade or regalia version, has langets but clearly made separately (functionality not such an issue on a ceremonial object?). The other, a bat-wing corsesca (chauve-souris)p 126, no. 7, has a visible separation that might just as well be old damage or repair.

Could well be that this piece is a Victorian-era composite, assembled to look like a medieval or Renaissance weapon.
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