Halberd of Archduke Ernst of Austria (1553–1605)
The head consists of a broad axe blade with concave cutting edge and decoratively cusped sides, a long spear blade with raised median rib, a down-turned hook with cusped edges, and a rectangular socket with two side straps. The etched decoration includes foliate scrolls on a blackened, dotted background, surrounding the emblems of Archduke Ernst of Austria (1553–1605): on each side of the spear blade is the monogram EE flanked by palm and laurel branches; on the left side of the axe blade are the archducal arms surrounded by the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece and surmounted by an archducal bonnet; on the right side of the axe blade is the Burgundian Saint Andrew's cross and fire steels; and on either side of the hook is the date 1593. The original wooden shaft is octagonal in section, covered with red fabric and studded with brass nails; the tassel mounted at the top of the shaft is modern.
This halberd is one of a series made for the Trabanten (bodyguard) of Archduke Ernst of Austria and commemorates the year he assumed the title of regent in the Netherlands.
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