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RARE mid 16th C. Austrian Halbard of the Guard of Archduke Ferdinand

( ID: ea542 )

An uncommonly rare and finely proportioned halbard, polearm, for the royal guard of the the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria. Dating from roughly the 1540s-1570s this example would have been carried only by the personal body guard of the archduke, whose history attests to having been involved in many of the most interestings wars and skirmes of the time. Archduke Ferdinand of Austria was the second son of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor and Anna of Bohemia and Hungary. He was a younger brother of Emperor Maximilian II. At the behest of his father, he was put in charge of the administration of Bohemia in 1547. He also led the campaign against the Turks in Hungary in 1556. The condition of the piece is completely original with even the original mottled wooden pole, carved with warts for a better grip. The polearm head is covered with etching of the finest quality, with the monogram of the Archduke and with his image on the other side. An old collection sticker is on the wooden pole. Overall is 76", halbard head is 16" long and 9" wide.

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