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Title Breton voulge
Nationality French
Period 15th century

This is the classic weapon of the French mounted infantry of the latter end of the Hundred Years War. It would have been mounted on a 5 foot ash shaft, and would normally have been used in foot combat. It measures 25 inches long and weighs about 4.5 pounds or 2 kilos. The first 11 inches of the blade are blunt - for smashing armour?

There is an armourer's mark: 'CP' in a shield with a pointed base at the back of the blade. The bottom eye for the shaft is massive, measuring 1.25 inches across. I suspect the shaft would have been secured by an iron collar sitting atop the forward eye. It balances perfectly when standing on it's base.

This is the ancestor of the famed Swiss halberd of the 15th/16th centuries. There is a similar example in Stone's Glossary, but purportedly of 18th century date. The style of the maker's poincon on this example strongly suggests a 15th-century date.

This was almost certainly a barn find in Flanders (bought from a Flemish source). It was absolutely black, with heavy surface rust, when I bought it and I spent two hours carefully cleaning it, bringing up the clarity of the armourer's mark in the process. There is still scattered medium and heavy pitting throughout the piece, but nevertheless this is a truly magnificent weapon.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Edged Weapons : Polearms : French : 15th Century]


I received the item today, you had packed it well and there were no problems with customs. Overall I was happy with it although the blade was a little bit worse than I had imagined, however thank you for your efforts.

P P, Australia, 09.03.2011

Hi Chris, just to let you know it arrived safely and I am very happy with it, also the condition. I have been looking for a while for that particular style and maker.. Thanks again for everything and I shall now be keeping an eye on your web page.

C A, UK, 28.09.2010