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Old 26th July 2021, 05:11 AM   #1
CSinTX
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Default An Italian Lugged Spear?

I recently picked this up from an estate sale for next to nothing. They had it described as "a sword". An interesting piece with a number of questions. Here's pictures. Would love to know others thoughts.
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Old 26th July 2021, 10:46 PM   #2
David R
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Wow, nice and showing some age!
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Old 27th July 2021, 05:12 AM   #3
Philip
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It has a businesslike look to it, and shows signs of being round the block more than a couple times -- quite encouraging.

Rather unusual and intriguing thing. In terms of overall form, it seems to be a transition between the "Bohemian ear-spoon" or winged pike and its descendent, the korseke / corsesca / chauve-souris family of polearms, which have increasingly longer lateral blades or wings culminating in the beautiful Italian "bat-wing" type (corsesca a pipistrello ) of the first half of the sixteenth century.

Looking at the familiar Bashford Dean evolutionary chart of polearms published by the Met, the transitional nature of yours would probably date it to around the mid-15th cent. My guess is that the socket of yours once had long langets which were riveted to the shaft, these being removed long ago.

A couple of things are out-of-the-ordinary compared to the norm for examples the generations of similar weapons evolving from ear to bat. One is the rather broad point, with edges curving to an ogival tip. Usually, the familiar versions have a markedly triangular shape to the central blade, with straight edges tapering to a thin point. In addition, all of the published examples I have seen have either a rhombic (diamond shaped) or a ribbed cross-section all the way from root to point, not transitioning from one to the other along the way. Lastly, I'm somewhat mystified by the symmetrical indentations in the blade profile, as stated previously, the norm is straight edges giving a triangular shape. Perhaps some other forumites can post examples of weapons with features similar to these.
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Old 28th July 2021, 10:01 AM   #4
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Lovely lance. Nice makers marks too.
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Old 28th July 2021, 10:19 AM   #5
fernando
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Extremely interesting. I can have it, if you don't want to .
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Old 28th July 2021, 03:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip View Post
A couple of things are out-of-the-ordinary compared to the norm for examples the generations of similar weapons evolving from ear to bat. One is the rather broad point, with edges curving to an ogival tip. Usually, the familiar versions have a markedly triangular shape to the central blade, with straight edges tapering to a thin point. In addition, all of the published examples I have seen have either a rhombic (diamond shaped) or a ribbed cross-section all the way from root to point, not transitioning from one to the other along the way. Lastly, I'm somewhat mystified by the symmetrical indentations in the blade profile, as stated previously, the norm is straight edges giving a triangular shape.
Excellent. You hit on all my thoughts on the oddities. Ive taken some better pictures of those areas.

I believe the broad point is a result of it being ground down at some point in its life.

Its odd that there also appears to be a change in metal where it transitions from diamond to ribbed. But both areas appear to be old and the transition is gradual. It appears it was made this way. Also, a previous owner applied a strong acid in this area. I assume they were trying to look for where the metal was fused?

The symmetrical indentations are a puzzle. They remind me of how a partisan is often sharpened down towards the tip.
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Old 28th July 2021, 06:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSinTX View Post

I believe the broad point is a result of it being ground down at some point in its life.

Its odd that there also appears to be a change in metal where it transitions from diamond to ribbed. But both areas appear to be old and the transition is gradual. It appears it was made this way. Also, a previous owner applied a strong acid in this area. I assume they were trying to look for where the metal was fused?
Thanks for these close up photos. Yes, the tip area definitely looks like it was ground down to reshape a possibly broken-off bit of the point, at some time in the past. You'd almost expect this, to some degree, on weapons that old that were made for combat, and were of a type in active use for a long time.

A gradual change in metal coloration, as often detected with acid treatment, can indicate the effect of heat treating. I've encountered this a lot when doing full polish/etch on some Oriental weapons, especially those from India where the effect can be quite marked. However, in one of your images I see hints of a fairly discernible transverse shadow at one point, going across the blade. There is so much old pitting all over that it would be a shame to disturb the surface in the area for a more invasive metallographic study. Again, referring to India, a lap- or tongue-joint to weld sections of the billet that was to become the blade was not an uncommon practice, but there the metals were combined at the forte (just ahead of the hilt by about three inches) or at the very tip of armor piercing daggers. How extensively (or whether) either of these methods were used by Western smiths is something that can be explored further.
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