This mace is from a group of unique form, made in northern Italy, probably Milan, in the mid 16th century. They are all iron, with spherical heads mounted with pyramidal form spikes. The most widely published example is A.986 of the Wallace Collection, identified as Milanese about 1560. Another in the National Army Museum, Paris, #MA K 56, is identified by Boccia (pl.475) as Milan, C.1575. A further example n the Stibbert Museum Catalog #201, is identified as Milan, C.1575. Tarassuk and Blair (Encyclopedia) identify the form as Italy, first half of the 16th century while Oakeshott dates them early to mid 16th century. As the style is borrowed rather than evolutionary, no topology for them exists but ample expert information solidly supports a mid 16th century attribution. This example is 22 5/8” in length. It is decorated throughout with gold lattice and foliate panels. The grip bears two cartouches of helmeted warriors with spears and shield. The segment below the head is decorated with similar warriors with shields, one with sword and the other presenting a helmet. Those cartouches are flanked by mottoes ANIMO ET FORTUNA PARET and IS TREMOR QUOD VIRTUS, references to mind, power and fortune, obscured by their archaic dialect. Its superb preservation is an indication of the esteem in which it was held by generations of owners. Rivaling the hand full of example in the world’s museums, this example may be the finest in private hands.
Item ID: UC4220

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