Halberd of Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg (reigned 1587–1612)


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 371

This halberd, with its slightly concave axe blade, wide apical spike with sharp mid-ridge, strongly curved beak, and fancifully scrolled general outline, is typical of the parade weapons used by palace guards of German princes during the second half of the sixteenth and throughout the seventeeth centuries. Its entire surface, including the square socket and the long steel straps (Schaftfedern) fastening the head to the shaft, is profusely etched with scrollwork and grotesques. On either side of the axe blade is an etched rondel containing the coat of arms of Wolfgang Dietrich von Raitenau, Prince Archbishop of Salzburg, quarterly, 1 and 4 per pale, or, a lion sable, and gules, a fess argent (Salzburg); 2 and 3, argent, a ball sable (Raitenau), surmounted by a cardinal's hat. On a small cartouche approximately in the middle of the spike is etched the date 1589.

Halberd of Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg (reigned 1587–1612), Steel, wood, textile, German

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