Florentine armourer

Florence, late 16th century

Material: Iron

Size: 160 cm long

Review by Gherardo Turchi

Generally known as of the XV century as “chiavarina”, it’s an ancient iron pike used for wild boar hunting. It was created by German barbarians who made it very popular during the Roman Age.

Joined with a short and heavy rod, it’s composed of a lozenge shaped metal tip with two slots on its ferrule. They let the tip enter the wild boar flesh deeply if it was going to hit the hunter.

As of the XV century this item evolved in the so-called “chiavarina” which was largely employed for military purposes as well. However, as the joust lance was created, its military use ceased abruptly and it was employed to hunt only.

Provided with a central fuller, its huge blade has two hand wrought items at its ends. As Medici’s coat of arms was impressed on its surfaces both, we may gather it was on sale at the workshops controlled by them.

Several painters in Florence depicted the chiavarina. Antonio Tempesta, for instance, painted a wild boar hunting scene with the weapon in the foreground.

The item is part of Gallori Turchi collection and, joined with a wooden rod, is well preserved. It’s published on Gherardo Turchi’s “Regina Belli”, Tipografia Etrusca edizioni, 2017, p. 69.

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