German or Swiss Morgenstern (Morningstar), 17th/18th C


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SKU: PM1773 Category:


The morgenstern (literally “Morning Star”) is the iconic peasant weapon used by German-
speaking peasants of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland from the Middle Ages until the
19th C Napoleonic era. Easily made at a time when peasant militias were called up in times
of conflict, these featured a hand-hewn wood shaft with integral head about 2″-3″ in
diameter, fashioned down to a more manageable 1″-1 ½” diameter for the handle. The
head is studded with numerous iron spikes around its circumference ranging from 1″-1 ½”
in length; the end with stabilizing iron ferrule and a long thrusting spike. It was a fearsome
looking weapon easily wielded with minimal training. This example a bit shorter than
usually encountered, with 2 1/4″ diameter head studded with 24 hand-forged square-
section spikes ranging in length from 1″-1/4″ in length. The end with iron ferrule
and 11″ faceted thrusting spike. The integral handle is hewn down to 1 ½” diameter.
Overall length 50 3/4″ (129 cm). Shows great age with rust patination to iron parts and
worming and splits to the wood shaft; one very long and deep split on the head but secured
by the end ferrule.