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Gale Maher




Location: Pa
Joined: 24 Mar 2015

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue 24 Mar, 2015 10:32 am    Post subject: Help identifying halberds         Reply with quote

Hello, everyone. This is my first posting here, so please forgive me if I'm ignorant of any of the forum functions.

These two halberds have been in my family for a considerable amount of time (more than a half century), but I don't know much about them. I believe they may be German-made, but again, I know very little so I'm not certain. There is a considerable amount of rust, but it seems stable so I'm not worried about that. I certainly believe them to be genuine, but of course all opinions are greatly appreciated.






Thank you in advance for any and all assistance that the membership here may be able to provide.



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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 24 Mar, 2015 8:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Are the hafts made of metal, as the photos suggest? I'm not an expert on halberds, but I do not recall seeing 16th and 17th century halberds with long metal hafts, assuming these ones have them.
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Andrew Gill





Joined: 19 Feb 2015

Posts: 98

PostPosted: Wed 25 Mar, 2015 4:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig, I think the hafts are just wood that has darkened with time - it is difficult to tell, but zooming right in, I think I can see a few splinters and woodgrain exposed next to the long integral langets.

I'm also no expert, but assuming these aren't later copies, the halberd heads look a bit like those used around 1600 or later - the blades and hooks have a more ornate outline than the more utilitarian earlier types (though less ornate and flimsy than some parade halberds I've seen - probably still usable). Also, the top spikes are much longer than on earlier weapons, and were probably the part most intended for actual offensive use. I think that by this time halberds were being used as a mark of rank by officers (probably lower-ranking ones)?
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E.B. Erickson
Industry Professional



Location: Thailand
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 436

PostPosted: Wed 25 Mar, 2015 5:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The halberd with the "keyhole" cut out in the blade is probably late 1500s - early 1600s.
The one with the straight cutting edge to the axe blade is earlier, maybe around 1550.
As far as origin, German or Swiss would be probable, but the later style of head seems to have been pretty commonly used in other European countries, too.

There's not much info out there on halberds, and my comments are based more on what I've seen in auction houses than anything else.

Hope this helps a little bit.
--ElJay
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Gale Maher




Location: Pa
Joined: 24 Mar 2015

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed 25 Mar, 2015 10:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you, gentlemen, for the responses! The hafts are wood, but there are metal tangs (I'm not sure of the correct terminology) attaching them, if that makes sense. I imagine they could do some damage, but they aren't really as sturdy as you'd expect an 'everyday' weapon to be, so maybe they are semi-ceremonial.

Either way, I appreciate your time in answering my question!
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,280

PostPosted: Wed 25 Mar, 2015 10:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The metal strips running down the haft are languets (tongues), to make it harder to cut the haft.
ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 322

PostPosted: Wed 25 Mar, 2015 1:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They certainly look genuine, going on the photo's. It might be worth getting some professional advice on having them cleaned up some. You probably wouldn't recognise them after some sympathetic restoration. It's possible the wood shafts are replacements, and may have shrunken a bit with age..leading to some of the 'flimsy' feeling.
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Wed 25 Mar, 2015 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

certainly the one in the cut-out appears in many English armouries. Its known as the Farleigh Hungerford type as that Castle had a fair few. Its one of the popular types for Civil War officer type re-enactors.
Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
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Gale Maher




Location: Pa
Joined: 24 Mar 2015

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat 28 Mar, 2015 6:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the excellent information! I will make a note of all of this to keep with the halberds.
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E.B. Erickson
Industry Professional



Location: Thailand
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 436

PostPosted: Sun 29 Mar, 2015 2:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gale,
If you've got the time and inclination, Hermann Historica auctions just put up a catalog on the internet last week and it has quite a few halberds, some quite similar the one that you have with the "keyhole" cutout. It's also a good place to get approximate values for your items. Wait until the auction ends and check their prices realized list.

--ElJay
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