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Rare North Italian Morningstar, Morgenstern, 16th/17th C

The morningstar, or Morgenstern in German, was a widely used peasant weapon from Medieval times up to the early 1800's. They were easy and cheap to manufacture, but very wicked looking lethal weapons. It is essentially a long wooden club with a larger head bearing a number of iron spikes. While commonly found in the German-speaking nations, it was rarely found in other parts of Europe. We have had many German, Austrian, and Swiss morningstars over the years, but this is the first one we have encountered from Italy. Most German morningstars are around 5 to 6 feet in length and made from pine or occasionally oak. This example is much shorter at 30 1/4" and made from chestnut, a wood commonly found in Italy, but rarely found north of there. It features a one-piece hand-hewn shaft with tapering handle with an iron end cap, bored for a carrying strap. Integral expanded head studded with four 2" long square-section iron spikes equally spaced around the head and a 3 Ĺ" spike extending from the end (some spikes slightly bent). A large iron band protects the head from splitting and there are numerous iron nails studding the top and bottom. It also bears the makerís mark "RL" stamped twice on the end of the head, a feature we have never seen on a morgenstern before. Beautiful rich patina on the wood and iron, with checking in the wood as typically found.  Found in a castle in Tuscany.  A rare piece in original condition showing much character.

PM1252 $1695  SOLD

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