AN ITALIAN GLAIVE C.1600-10
About the piece
This example embodies all the characteristics which make glaives stand alone among pole arms. Their size, keen cutting edges and pointed leading profile make them devastating weapons. As with Swiss and German two handed swords, guards of superior stature and physical condition were required and trained in their use with devastating effect. A single well placed thrust could disembowel an adversary even if protected by a leather doublet. Guard units comprising as many as 80 or more armed with glaives, provided a defense impenetrable by assassins or malcontents, for their royal and noble or clerical masters. This example is datable with precision from its profile. The blade is decorated on each side with foliage inhabited by mythological warriors and creatures in combat. A coronet terminates the decoration at the top, though the central cartouche reserved for the arms of the owner is left blank. It is from a well known group.Total length: 105"