Arms & Armor Custom Bec de Corbin
Original: Europe, circa 1480-1520
Throughout medieval Europe, the man-at-arms found himself facing more and more efficient forms of armour. The need for weapons capable of crushing and hacking through these defenses was ever-increasing.
One weapon capable of delivering significant damage to well-armoured opponents is the poleaxe
. The word derives not from the word pole
("haft"), but from the word poll
("head"). Interesting enough, many poleaxes don't actually have an axe head at all but are configured with a hammer head of one variety or another. These weapons were known on the European Continent by their French names of bec de corbin
, bec de faucon
, and marteau
The example shown here is a customized version of an older model produced by Arms & Armor many years ago that has been retired from their standard catalog for many years. The components that went into creating this item were the last of the lot. It was decided to make the piece appear well-used and showing some age. This decision was an easy one to make given that the parts had been tumbling around the A&A shop for many, many years and received their fair share of knocks and dings during their own "tour of duty".
The robust top-spike gives this weapon potent thrusting abilities and allows it to be used in a similar fashion as a spear. The hammer head splits into four acutely-pointed prongs that are capable of penetrating plate armour. On the other side, there is a stout back-spike that is curved to resemble the beak of a bird. It is this feature that gives the weapon its name, as bec de corbin
means "crow's beak" in Old French. If all of this wasn't enough, there are two spikes extending more than 2.5 inches from each side of the head.
The haft is hardwood made of a rectangular section with its edges rounded down and has two 14-inch long steel langets to protect its sides.
Overall length: 59"
Weight: 3.75 pounds
Width of head: 7.25"
Top spike: 7" long
Beak: 3.75" long
Maker: Arms & Armor