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Important Parade Halberd, Italian and French, ca. 1600
Originally made in Northern Italy and remounted by the French in the 19th C (who unified the Kingdom of Italy under Napoleon in 1805), this fine quality halberd features a concave axe blade pierced with hearts and other geometric shapes, an upturned spike and a pair of curved hooks; down-curved rear beak with upturned spike. Thick diamond-section 14" thrusting spike with engraved decoration at the base and an openwork knob featuring four finely chiseled face medallions with additional chiseled faces in high relief below. Added at a later date are two short thick decorative side straps with three diamond-section spikes on one side and large wing nuts threaded on the reverse; the straps engraved in script "S Francois/Juin 1845". The French were known to re-issue 16th and 17th C polearms to town guards and citizen soldiers during both the Revolution and Napoleonic times and this is obviously one such example. Mounted on later hardwood shaft with molded edges. Metal smooth with areas of very light minor pitting. The chiseled and engraved decorations are of superior quality; far better than generally found in parade halberds of this era. Length of metal 24 ½"; overall 85".
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