North Italian, 15th century. Forged iron. The crescent form axe bit struck with a maker’s mark, a C form enclosing a figure. Back swept diamond section back spike opposite and matching fore spike, each capable of breaching the magnificent High Gothic armor of the period. 21 ¼” length with tapered faceted haft and expanded grip. Large, squat bun form finial. By 1400, full plate armor was in use. The axe and mace were the only hand weapons capable of breaching it. Their use cost the loss of parrying (defensive) benefit as with the sword, though the shield provided a measure of protection. All battle encounters required commitment to the death, but some had more predictable outcomes than others. A successful axe attack was deadly. This axe was the weapon of a noble knight in the High Gothic period.