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Old 15th April 2021, 04:30 PM   #1
BlackcapBob
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Default Pole arm with sun, moon and stars makers stamps.

Hello All, I bought a Pole arm recently would its use be military, protection or hunting, the makers marks are they known to anyone or is The sun, moon and stars a common stamp. Could the stamps be Peter Munich of Solingen.

The Pole arm is 76” or 1.93m long

Any advice gratefully received. Cheers Bob.

Sorry, Still getting used to resizing photos and posting them !!!, hopefully in time I will get a hang of it. Bob
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Old 15th April 2021, 05:21 PM   #2
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... And the pictures, Bob .
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Old 15th April 2021, 07:13 PM   #3
Jim McDougall
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From what I can see, this seems to be a 'glaive', a blade on a polearm, and for some reason this actually seems Chinese, perhaps its the character of the tip.
The grouping of markings appear to be applied as a 'quality' imbuement, but more an incongruent assembly of unassociated marks.

The sun and moon were often used on European blades of the 18th c. in cosmological themes supposed to carry talismanic imbuement. The grouping of stars resembles the Schimmelbusch firm of 19th c. in degree, the crossed axes I am unsure of at the moment.
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Old 16th April 2021, 12:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
From what I can see, this seems to be a 'glaive', a blade on a polearm, and for some reason this actually seems Chinese, perhaps its the character of the tip.
Design and construction aren't close to any glaive I've seen, Chinese, European, or otherwise.

How secure is the socket-to-shaft attachment? Like with a cross pin or rivet?
A flensing knife used by whalers comes to mind, but that's just an off-the-cuff impression of mine. (It's been decades since I've read Moby-Dick which comprises most of my limited grasp of the topic.
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Old 16th April 2021, 09:17 AM   #5
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Thanks Jim and Philip for your comments.

The blade is secured to the shaft by rivets and a slot head screw all very secure. The end of the shaft has a metal cap attached to protect the shaft end.

I have Stone's glossary but couldn't find anything that matched the blade, that's probably why I didn't call it a Glaive and stuck with Pole arm.

Cheers Bob
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Old 16th April 2021, 12:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
Design and construction aren't close to any glaive I've seen, Chinese, European, or otherwise.

How secure is the socket-to-shaft attachment? Like with a cross pin or rivet?
A flensing knife used by whalers comes to mind, but that's just an off-the-cuff impression of mine. (It's been decades since I've read Moby-Dick which comprises most of my limited grasp of the topic.

Thats really an interesting observation Philip! and while I know little about the whaling trade, it does seem a pretty gruesome business in butchering an animal of that size. I believe Melville described this process in "Moby Dick", but I honestly never read it.
There is an entire panoply of tools used in this, and it seems there are some long hafted types using blades of somewhat similar blade form.

What leads me away from the whaling implement thought is the application of these markings, which seem more attuned to the talismanic (or so thought) character of thier presence. These notions I dont think were used in the same manner on tools and utilitarian implements.
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Old 16th April 2021, 01:27 PM   #7
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I would also (humbly) go for the weapon possibility.
One thing that i would like to have clarified is the reason for that slot head screw on the socket, while this is already secured by the riveted langets; as if the socket was not welded to the said langets and could be (easily) disassembled without them .
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Old 16th April 2021, 04:10 PM   #8
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Interesting and astute observation on the slot screw on the socket which seems attached 'over' the riveted langets, Fernando.

The blade form and being attached on a 'pole' is what made me think of the Japanese (and Chinese) 'naginata, though the curious blade markings and unusual fullers made me think European.

The squared rivet heads on the langets resemble European types and arrangement, much as on many lances.
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Old 16th April 2021, 11:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackcapBob
.

The blade is secured to the shaft by rivets and a slot head screw all very secure. The end of the shaft has a metal cap attached to protect the shaft end.



Cheers Bob
Thanks, Bob, for the additional pics. Are those straps physically attached to the socket? They look separate in the photo but with the piece in hand, you might see differently.

What strikes me as odd about the attachment is that on the socket, we see a rather industrial-looking domed headed slot screw in a countersunk hole. A modern addition? But there are rivets on the straps, with what appear to be square escutcheons that look like archaic nuts.

In handling a lot of early European polearms, I generally see the straps integral with the socket or shank of the blade. But of course there are exceptions to every rule.
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Old 17th April 2021, 12:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall

The blade form and being attached on a 'pole' is what made me think of the Japanese (and Chinese) 'naginata, though the curious blade markings and unusual fullers made me think European.
The blade details (look also at cross-section, bevels, and the manner of fullering) are distinctly different between this, and the Asiatic examples you cite. Close (in profile) to be sure, but not a cigar. Also, the piece under consideration has a socket and langet attachment, not seen on the Oriental weapons which invariably feature a tang attached in a slot in the shaft by a couple of cross pins or rivets, and reinforced on the outside by a ferrule and hoops.
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Old 17th April 2021, 12:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall

What leads me away from the whaling implement thought is the application of these markings, which seem more attuned to the talismanic (or so thought) character of thier presence. These notions I dont think were used in the same manner on tools and utilitarian implements.
In some parts of Europe, in pre-industrial times, cutting tools for domestic and craft uses were often deeply marked with punched-in stamps. The Germanic countries were well known for this. Of course, what is really talismanic as opposed to a trademark, or a traditional design popular in the folk memory, is open to interpretation
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Old 17th April 2021, 12:55 PM   #12
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Default Shooting in all directions ...

There are weapons, though not so many, in that the blade is separated from the pole for easier transport... or blade integrity. Still it would be more improbable that the (this) socketed blade, when mounted, joined a pole reinforced with its own straps. Yet even more improbable, but possible, would be that the two parts did not belong to each other in the first place.
At this stage it would be vital to hear from Bob, over yet another chance in that the blade is a detachable part and the modern screw is there to prevent the blade from falling off.
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Old 17th April 2021, 01:56 PM   #13
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Although it can’t be ruled out to be a tool (perhaps supported by the crossed ax symbol), the presence of langets, fullers and the sun, moon and star symbol suggest it’s a polearm. Although langets are often said to prevent opponents from cutting off the poles, I think an important function is to prevent the blade from twisting around the pole end in the heat of the battle which would be frustrating and dangerous for the wielder.
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Old 17th April 2021, 05:45 PM   #14
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Hello All, thanks for your comments.

Out of curiosity I have removed the slotted screw, the slot head was full of old crud, the screw was tight and rusted in but it has come out, it is a 1/2" screw and not sufficient to hold the head in place the langets are doing that job with the rivets.

Once the screw was removed I gave the head a good tug and twist there was no movement at all, the shaft is nicely chamfered to fit snuggly.

Am I right in thinking that the consensus is heading towards European (Stamps and Fullers) and possibly military/ ceremonial but not of the usual type encountered,

The blade is 18" - 46cm long with three 8"-20cm fullers, the blade nearest the shaft is 1 11/16" - wide by1/4" - 8mm, middle 1 1/2" - 38mm by 1/8" - 4mm widest near tip 1 13/16" - 46mm by 1/16" - 2mm the edge is sharpened from the tip to half way on the blade, it is built to cut not for show. Cheers Bob
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Old 17th April 2021, 07:13 PM   #15
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Red face Sorry to insit ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackcapBob
... I have removed the slotted screw, the slot head was full of old crud, the screw was tight and rusted in but it has come out, it is a 1/2" screw and not sufficient to hold the head in place the langets are doing that job with the rivets.
Then comes the one million $ question, Bob; what is the slotted screw for ?
Short as it is (1/2") still it must go through the wood inside, right ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackcapBob
... Once the screw was removed I gave the head a good tug and twist there was no movement at all, the shaft is nicely chamfered to fit snuggly...
Chamfered; not because its langets are 'stuck' inside the socket, but welded to it ? Something only you can tell, having the piece in your hands ... and with naked eyes ...
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Old 18th April 2021, 10:31 AM   #16
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Morning, I am just speculating but could the screw be used to site the head on the shaft so it doesnt move prior to the langets being finally secured or just a none original addition. To have only one screw isn't going to secure the head for long.

The langets go into the socket of the head no visible welding.
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Old 18th April 2021, 11:32 AM   #17
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If the langets were to be introduced and aligned with the head, then the socket would better have (two) slits inside, to allow for the langets to slide in and not twist hile handling.
You are right in that such little screw would not have the strength to secure the head/shaft alignment. Unless its present purpose is only to secure the set for exhibition.
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Old 18th April 2021, 01:06 PM   #18
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Is it possible the small screw held a lightweight attachment for pennant or small flag?
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Old 18th April 2021, 01:29 PM   #19
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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 ?

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Old 18th April 2021, 08:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
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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Old 18th April 2021, 09:49 PM   #21
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Found this on the internet. Personally I never heard of a Sovnya before...
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Old 18th April 2021, 11:16 PM   #22
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This does not match in form or style any polearms I’ve run across... which is not unusual in the polearm world.

The blade appears heavily influenced by post-17th century sword blades, and the attachment method obviously resembles European polearms for many centuries.

Since design is often a result of usage/function, the upturned tip would imply it was designed after armor had gone out of style. It does not appear to be a copy of another design, but a combination of two.

Unregulated or unique lower end polearms are often attributed (rightly or wrongly) to locally blacksmithed militia weapons or general “peasant revolt” weapons.

Whatever it is, I believe it is “real” and purposefully built as a weapon.

I would venture to guess it’s mid-18th to mid-19th century. I usually see the unusual/“peasant” polearms of this period associated with Ireland, Scotland, and France... but those determinations are likely solely a function of where the item was discovered in an attic versus any inherent design assumptions.


This is my opinion, which is worth what you paid for it.
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Old 19th April 2021, 06:07 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
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.
Hello Philip,

Good information... many thanks for taking the trouble to do this research. I was only working on memory from my visits to the Wallace Collection here in London, and have no reference books on European Arms available to me currently.
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