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Austrian Halberd (Probably Graz), ca. 1580
Of Upper Austrian manufacture, probably one of many made for the Graz Landeszeughaus (Regional Armoury). Axe blade of deep crescentic shape punched with holes and eyelash marks (typical of Graz halberds); down-curved back beak stamped with the mark of Peter Schreckeisen; long 30 Ĺ" diamond-section spike; integral side straps and "Zwinge" (reinforcing band). Mounted on section of original wood shaft (badly worm eaten) with additional front and rear straps mortised into the shaft. Metal shows lamination and a major forging flaw where the blade and socket converge. While polearms in the Landeszeughaus Graz were generally stored horizontally on wood racks and escaped major worm damage, the condition of this piece indicates it more likely was stored in a cellar for a long period of time. This would be in keeping with citizen-soldiers living near the frontier with the Turks keeping their weapons at home, so as to be ready when duty called. Schreckeisen is known to have made many similar halberds for the Landeszeughaus Graz. In fact his is one of the few identified polearm makerís marks because the original records survived at Graz. Length of metal 58, overall 70".
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