This example represents the halberd as it evolved from the Gothic in Venice. At the time, Venice was a city state of immense importance, controlling the north of the Italian Peninsula and territories north and east of the Adriatic Sea, including the Western Balkans. The boundaries of Venetian control were the frontier or interface with the Ottoman Empire which was held by military force. The halberd turned the battle at Sempach in 1386 and quickly spread in popularity as the equalizer for infantryman and horseman. Full plate armor evolved in roughly the same time period and by the early 16th century, the halberd in Northern Europe evolved into an axe, backed by a fluke which could pull down a mounted armored adversary, and a fore spike, granting all the advantages of the spear. The Venetian halberd evolved to answer Ottoman cavalry protected by mail and plate. The back fluke and fore spike are of universal form and function. The axe blade has a discretely sharpened, beveled cutting edge for flesh cutting, of large scalloped form to benefit from a stroking cut and interrupted by a medial and terminal projections. The foremost of these is thickened for "armor piercing" (mail piercing), a feature characteristic of Indopersian weapons. cf: See Stone, figure 344 #8, for a near identical example at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, identified as Venetian, C.1520. Total length: 87 3/4"