Object Title

Bill

Bill

Date

1500-1530

Object Number

VII.1341

Provenance

Transferred to Armouries in 1927 from the Rotunda Museum, Woolwich (latterly inv. no. XII 14); said to have been presented by King George IV (source for this not presently known - not in Rotunda catalogues, PJL).

Physical Description

Pointille decoration on blade. Long elegant head of iron. The blade has a long cutting edge sloping out to a low point in the centre opposite the fluke which is of diamond section and expands at the shoulder into two flat-ended lugs. Above the fluke the rear edge is also sharpened. At the top of the cutting edge is a large, curved, double-edged hook. Long top-spike with a pronounced medial rib flanked on either side by a fuller or fluke. At the base of the blade are two flat, slightly up-turned lugs. Rectangular-sectioned socket with bevelled corners and two short cheeks. The blade is decorated below the back-spike with a panel of pointille work consisting from top to bottom of the figure of a saint (on one side St Catherine, and on the other St Barbara); a profile head within an oval cartouche, and an oblong cartouche with scrolled corners bearing a cypher, composed slightly differently on either side, of the letters HENRI. The socket is decorated to match with a panel of symmetrical floral scroll-work. The haft is modern.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Overall length: 2172 mm (85.5 in), length of head: 813 mm (32 in) Weight: 4.51 kg (9 lb 15 oz)

Bibliographic References

Official catalogue of the Museum of Artillery in the Rotunda, Woolwich (CHECK TITLE), London, HMSO, 1864, p. 88, inv. no. XII.14.

Official catalogue of the Museum of Artillery in the Rotunda, Woolwich, London, HMSO, 1889, p. 121-2, inv. no. XII.8.

C ffoulkes, 'Armour from the Rotunda, Woolwich, transferred to the Armouries of the Tower, 1927', Archaeologia 78, 1928,p. 64 (probable mention).

A V B Norman and G M Wilson, Treasures from the Tower of London, Norwich, 1982: cat. no. 53, p. 68-70

G.M.Wilson, A halberd head from the River Thames, Park Lane Arms Fair 2 (1985), 18.

P.J. Lankester, 'Two maces from Henry VIII's arsenal?', Royal Armouries Yearbook, 5, 2000, pp. 27-43, at p. 29 (mention).

T Richardson, The Armour and Arms of Henry VIII, Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds, 2002, p. 30 (2 illus., top left (right), top right).

Notes

[Discussion: TO DO copy or extract first paragraph from Norman and Wilson 1982; also check descr. there against above]. The monogram HENRI appears to have been misread, and published incorrectly. It is actually 'HENRY' made up of the letters H.E.N.R.Y, the 'Y' being place horizontally. Despite being published as 'HENRI' by Norman and Wilson (1982) it appears to have had been noted as 'HENRY' as early as 1928 (see ffoulkes 1928 where it is assumed that the piece under discussion is this one RCWS) when although called a 'partizan' it is described as bearing 'a monogram containing the letters 'HENRY' and the date 1540'. No date is visible on this piece so possibly ffoulkes was incorrect on this point.