For a member of the Trabantenleibgarde of Duke Johann Georg I. of Saxony as
administrator of the bishopric of Merseburg, dated 1609.
Overall length: 231,5 cm.
Dossier as PDF
Head, measured to beginning of the upper tassel: 72,5 cm.
Maximum width: 28 cm.
A long spike, at the base of flattened hollow diamond section, becomes square
sectioned while tapering towards the point. Near the center the edges swing out into
several cusps and flukes that serve purely ornamental purposes. Typical for 17th
century halberds the blade of the present example is relatively small, so this weapon
was mainly used for thrusting instead of delivering blows with the axe. Accordingly
the beak on the back side is shaped more like a down pointed hook, which would
not have a significant impact against plate armour. Instead this feature would have
been used to pull an enemy off his saddle.
The blade on the other side shows decorative cusps and a concave winding outline
near the base, two times on the upper and one on the underside, which reflects the
shape of the spike’s edge on the opposite. Towards the outer points it is widening
with straight contours. The edge is concave.
Both sides of the head are etched with polished foliate strapwork on a blackened
ground in the center and parts of the spike. The axe shows cartouches with the ducal
coat of arms, on one side those of Saxony, on the other the cross of Merseburg.
Below both crests there is the dating 1609, above you can find the inscription
SVMC (Scopus Vitae Mihi Christus, My life’s goal is Christ), which is the device
of Johann Georg. Another abbreviation can be found on the beak: HGHZS, meaning
Johann (Hans) Georg Herzog zu Sachsen. In 1609 Johann was still duke and
administrator of the bishopric of Merseburg. He became prince elector in 1611 and
ruled until 1656.more