Object Title

Glaive head

Glaive head



Object Number



Purchased at auction Christie's (London), 24 April 2001, lot 30, from the R.T. Gwynn collection.

Physical Description

No haft. Tapering asymmetrical double-edged blade with a pair of incisions (one on each side) running back diagonally from the edges, near the point; a small (right-angled) triangular beak to the rear near the base; facetted socket, open on the inside and with two rivet holes on the outside. Condition on acquisition: the surfaces rust-pitted; many small irregularities in the forward edge (visible when the edge is viewed end on).


Dimensions: Overall length: 620 mm (24 3/8 in.), Socket width: 39 mm (1 9/16 in.) Weight: 995 g (1 lb 3 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

On the beak, on the inside, stamped: four pellets separated by an equal armed cross with flared terminals (not quite a cross pattÚe).


Places England

Bibliographic References

R.T. Gwynn, Catalogue of the collection of Reginald T. Gwynn, photocopied typescript and illustrations, prepared for private circulation, 1990, unpaginated, part 1, no. A94.


Gwynn (1990) and the Christie's sale catalogue cite a similar example at Cothele House, Cornwall and another, found in the moat of the Castle at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, now in the Castle Keep Museum, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle-upon-Tyne). According to Gwynn (1990) the socket being open on one side is considered to be a feature of English hafted weapons.
For a note on R.T. (Peter) Gwynn and his collection, by Claude Blair, see Christie's sale catalogue. Other notes on the collection, compiled shortly before the sale by Thom Richardson, are on the inv. file for IV.698.