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Northern Italy armorer

Northern Italy XVIth century

Material: Forged Iron

Size: closed - 100 cm. long, open - 173 cm. long

review by gherardo turchi

This buttafuori – sort of polearm – is an ancient and rare weapon made in one of those flourishing workshops of master armorers, active in northern Italy during the second half of the sixteenth century.

People used it both as a military and civil weapon as a hidden defensive weapon. Its origin dates back to the sixteenth century, developing its resourceful use until the seventeenth century, in Europe, specifically in those regions between Northern Italy and Southern Germany, which were similar as far as war inventions were concerned.

It is made as a concave metal spear, almost one meter long, hiding a pull-out blade with a release activated with both hands. This weapon is a middle course between a polearm and a sword cane.

With a snap-on cover placed at its opening, which worked when the blade came out, the buttafuori often had an ax head with a rear reinforcement ring right at the exit hole of the blade itself.

This work shows all features above described, with a big blade that remains hidden inside its hilt almost all along its length. Its head has a big spout ending in a rather sharp point, while a crescent ax supported by two bridges is a sort of counter altar to the beak. The hilt has two slubs – reinforced metal rings – put just under its head, while a double-grooved ring is working as a base.

The depicted weapon is in an excellent state of conservation and is a perfect addition to the catalog of concealed weaponry made during the sixteenth century.

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