This unique weapon is an interesting combination of two different weapons that are claimed to have been used during the medieval period. The first is what is often called a "peasants flail", which originally was a farm implement used for separating grains. The flails usually consisted of a long shaft, meant for use with two hands, with a typically cylindrical head attached via a short hinge. The heads of these flails were sometimes studded with metal and pressed into service by peasant soldiers. The second weapon that shows influence in this piece is often called a "military flail". These weapons usually consisted of a shorter shaft with a heavy ball, sometimes studded or spiked, attached via various lengths of chain or leather. Historians tend to disagree on whether or not such weapons ever existed at all, but the general consensus seems to be that if they did they were not used widely. This example consists of a 5 foot 6 1/2 inch hardwood shaft which is studded with brass tacks along most of the length, with 31 1/4 inch iron reinforcing tangs towards the top. A hardwood ball with three iron spikes is attached to the shaft with 17 inches of iron chain. Half of the ball is now absent, possibly being broken during a significant strike.
Good, the iron showing mostly a dark brown patina and a deep antique patina on the brass. A few of the brass tacks are absent. The wood is also good showing some insect holes and chips near the butt and some hairline age cracks scattered throughout.
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