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GERMAN

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Halberd, lifeguard of Duke Johann Georg
Halberd, lifeguard of Duke Johann Georg
Halberd, lifeguard of Duke Johann Georg
Halberd, lifeguard of Duke Johann Georg
Halberd, lifeguard of Duke Johann Georg
Halberd, lifeguard of Duke Johann Georg Halberd, lifeguard of Duke Johann Georg Halberd, lifeguard of Duke Johann Georg Halberd, lifeguard of Duke Johann Georg Halberd, lifeguard of Duke Johann Georg

Halberd

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.
Head, measured to beginning of the upper tassel: 72,5 cm.
Maximum width: 28 cm.

Dossier as PDF

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

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© 2012 Lennart Viebahn | Impressum

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