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Gentleman's Military Interest Club

Ancient Halberd

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Hello all!

Over twenty years ago this halberd was bought for me by an experienced antique dealer (who admittedly didn't know squat about weapons). I do not know where it was bought from. A story came with it, which I'll withhold for the moment.

Might any of you know anything about this weapon? There is a quite large ...hallmark?... on one side of the blade that sort of looks like a scorpion. Within seems to be a plus sign and the letter B. 

The blade is still edged, but not necessarily sharp. I definitely would not want this thing falling on me.



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Here's some more pictures...

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What a beautiful old piece! I have to wonder, though, why anyone would cut that notch in such a conspicuous place. Even if it were for carbon dating or other molecular testing, a more discreet chunk of material could be had. The wooden part is as well preserved as could be expected, and together, they make an exciting bit of history, with or without the “story”. 



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Hello gabatgh,

From what I have found this is most likely an English bill, mid 15th century, as per [European Edged Weapons, T. Wise, pg. 33]

I doubt that the missing piece was for any dating process, [though Mike is NOT suggesting that at all], wood is a much easier material to carbon date.  The other point against any test damage is that these are fairly easy to identify by museums and those who specialise in such weapons. Maker's mark or possibly the ownership mark is something that could narrow down specific details.  I would suggest approaching a museum that has a specialist in 15th century arms and armour on staff. Don't bother with local small museums who usually deal with local history as they are a waste of time when it comes to these.  Please keep the members updated in whatever you find out about this interesting weapon and I will continue to look through other books I have on early weapons to see if that mark shows up in other specimens that might be featured.

Good luck and thanks for sharing this piece with us.




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