Both Neumann and Peterson date these blacksmith made halberds to about 1680-1750, sometimes later, to the Revolution, though it is generally accepted that polearms produced specifically for the Revolution were pikes or variations. Peterson claims that they were made for a variety of public officials, however, the simplicity and crudeness of their construction makes that very unlikely. Flayderman called most “trade halberds” though no distinction from others was made. That examples have turned up throughout New England but few (none to our knowledge) relate to Revolutionary battle sites suggests that they had another function. In Europe it was customary in many areas for simple folk to keep a polearm inside the front door. The Lucerne hammer is widely believed to have served that function. The custom, reinforced by greater need, was surely carried on by the settlers in New England where every man was fit and muscular by necessity. These arms in the hands of such men could repel thief, assassin or Indian raider and hold the door against intrusion. Our conclusion is that was the original function of these weapons and, originally, most houses were protected by one. Their functionality and lack of aesthetic value evidently resulted in nearly all being relegated to and consumed by agricultural duty. This example is 17 1/2” long and comprises a medial ridged spear point with opposing axe blades at the junction with the socket. That configuration is unique in our experience and reinforces the above conclusions. If used to defend a door, no back fluke, which is used for pulling, is needed. The opposing axes present one no matter how it is gripped. It is well-made and skillfully designed for its intended purpose.
Stock Number: FNS2263

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