Object Title

Ahlspiess - Ahlspiess, 'Awl-pke'

Ahlspiess - Ahlspiess, 'Awl-pke'



Object Number



Maj. HD Barnes. Ex. Sigmaringen Museum (Southern Germany).

Physical Description

The head bears a long spike of quadrangular section. It thickens at the base and continues down the modern wooden haft as a long socket with a narrow split up each side. A flat steel rondel or disc 171 mm (6 3/4 ins). in diameter, forms a handguard and is retained by projections where the spike joins the socket.
The wooden haft is modren.





HeadLength1220 mm
OverallLength2795 mm
OverallWeight3.57 kg

Inscriptions and Marks

Arsenal stamp
The arsenal mark of Vienna (cross within shield) three times on each face. And the mark of Hans Maitburger of Priesting.
On each of the four faces of the spike


Bibliographic References

C. Blair, European and American Arms, c.1100-1850, London, 1962, pp.110-111, line illus. X (a).


This example came from the Vienna City Arsenal. A number of Ahlspiesse are recorded in the Vienna Zeughaus inventory of 1444. The last delivery was made in 1497-1500 when322 were supplied to Vienna from Piesting, in Lower Austria, some of which were made by Hans Maitburger/Maidburger. Some 170 are still preserved in the Vienna City Arsenal (inv. nos. 126.008-126.010, 126.050-126.057, 162.449-162.602). It would appear that this weapon remained in use for some time: examples are shown in the illustrated histories of the Emperor Maximilian, the Weisskunig and the Freydal. Other examples are preserved in the Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, the Musée de L'Armée, Paris and the Kretzschmar von Kienbusch Collection in t he Philadelphia Museum of Art. (See Glück 1960, p. 35 and Vienna 1977, p. 77 no. 59). Examples retaining their original guards, such as this example, are comparatively rare.

Typed note in IBE reads: 'O Gamber (1978): '1490 ex Vienna same maker's mark Hans Maitburger at Piesting [Austria]'.