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James Rogers





Joined: 31 May 2010

Posts: 23

PostPosted: Tue 09 Apr, 2019 4:45 am    Post subject: How common were protective rondels on poleaxes?         Reply with quote

I think everyone here is probably familiar with that famous Wallace Collection poleaxe, A926. Hammer/spike/axe on the head, trailing into four langets, all terminating at a protective disc partway down the haft. I haven't had the luxury of perusing museum archives to know how common this feature was, but it seems to be relatively uncommon on modern reproductions. Do any experienced scholars here know roughly how common these rondels were? Were they largely confined to particular regions or time periods?
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Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

Posts: 306

PostPosted: Tue 09 Apr, 2019 4:40 pm    Post subject: Re: How common were protective rondels on poleaxes?         Reply with quote

The late 15th-century version of Schilling's chronicle you often find them with the roundel, a lot of artistic evidence I know does show it, actually. I believe it would be more profitable to find historical pieces and artistic evidence for pollaxes WITHOUT the roundels to get the idea of how uncommon the absence of protective rondels were. Considering they were a weapon for the class of men-at-arms and up, it doesn't seen unthinkable of them to have a more expensive protection like this.

The get an example, there is a 1520-30's portuguese printing of a famous 15th century source called "Crônica do Condestrabre", the print apparently was based in a mid-to-late representation of portuguese armor, and you can find Saint Nuno de Álvares, the Constable of Portugal, holding a war hammer with a protective roundel:





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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Fri 12 Apr, 2019 2:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Let's look at some period art:


























You'll note that with the exception of one image, from BL Harley 2278 Lives of Saints Edmund and Fremund, there are no instances of poleaxes with any sort of rondel during the first half of the 15th century. So they seem to be rare indeed, at least at this point in time.
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William Knight




Location: Mid atlantic, US
Joined: 02 Oct 2005

Posts: 133

PostPosted: Tue 16 Apr, 2019 8:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can also find rondels on this pollaxe https://collections.royalarmouries.org/object/rac-object-1261.html and a number of other surviving examples. I would not draw any broad conclusions from the survey above because as was said this is only the first half of the 15th century, and there are a number of depictions of rondels in the second half of the century as well as at least one from the first half, as well as the surviving examples. It is possible indeed probable that rondels became more common over the course of the 15th century.

Here are some other images showing Rondels:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b525033083/f202.item - from 1440

https://i.pinimg.com/564x/a4/94/0d/a4940d0536b8246aa268fa28e39de397.jpg - I believe this is one of the BNF Froissarts from the third quarter of the century.

http://warfare.gq/15/Beauchamp_pageants-XXXVIII.htm - here's the Beauchamp Pageant from the 1480's.

https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-caesar-caius-julius-137100-15344-bc-roman-politician-dictator-49-and-111512899.html - this is one of the Caesar tapestries from the 1460's or 1470's, captured by the Swiss from Charles the Bold and now in Bern.

On the other hand here's an example without the rondels: http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=harley_ms_7353_f001r[/url]
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