Mace - inv. 2346

Milan, first half of 16th century

1540-1550 ca.
630 x 110 mm, 1577 g
1879 bequest Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli
Inv. 2346


The club is one of the most ancient weapons of offence. Being clubbed to death with a mace used to be one of the legal forms of execution, together with hanging, inflicted on those not of noble birth. Sixteenth-century steel maces came in two forms: with the head flanged or else spherical, often bristling with spikes. This example is richly decorated with “damascened” gold foliage (with the gold applied to a specially prepared ground). The decorative models are Milanese, from the mid-sixteenth century.