Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 357: Etched Halberd with Two Built-In Wheellock Pistols

Auction Date: December 3, 2021

Scarce Etched Halberd with Two Built-In Wheellock Pistols

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $4,000 - $6,500

Scarce Etched Halberd with Two Built-In Wheellock Pistols

Manufacturer: German
Model: Wheellock
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 48
Barrel: 4 5/8 inch round
Finish: bright/black
Stock: hardwood
Item Views: 852
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 212
Class: Antique

Though the writer believes this example to have been made in the Victorian Era, a very similar halberd that is part of the Royal Armouries Collection in the U.K. (Object # XIV.23) and noted as German from 1590, and others from the Germanic states in the late 16th century are also known. By that period, halberds were mostly obsolete as firearms became the dominant weapons in European warfare, but they continued to be used into the next century and beyond for use by guards and as a symbol of rank for sergeants. An ornate halberd would have certainly been a flashy arm for an officer or royal guard. The metal components are almost entirely decorated with scroll patterns accented by vignettes of soldiers. The head is 15 inches long. The overall length is approximately 87 inches. The long blade is fluted on each side down the center in alignment with the pistol barrels. The locks are tripped by triggers around 30 inches down the haft that fold into the haft and have sliding covers to prevent them from accidentally being pulled. The multi-section haft also has etched panels on the upper section, and the lower section has a "blackthorn" appearance.

Rating Definition:

Very good with distinct etching, mild patination, some loose fit of some of the components, some small chips and flakes in the haft, and mild overall wear. Not mechanically tested.

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