The High Gothic Mace is one of our most popular impact weapons and an accurate reproduction of a medieval mace. Flanged maces were seen throughout the medieval period and this is a high status example from the gothic period. The original is dated to ~1470 and possibly French.
The mace is often thought to have been a heavy club the took great strength to wield. But as this example shows, the same care and dedication that went into designing a sword would have been used to craft an impact weapon. Particularly a high end piece such as this has an excellent feel and mobility in the hand. Weight distribution and balance were well understood by the medieval craftsman and were used to create an effective hand to hand weapon.
One of the ways the period maces are specifically designed to incorporate the characteristics of a good fighting weapon is the hafts are often hollow or when solid, like this piece, they taper to allow more mass near the grip. The shaft of this piece is hexagonal in cross section and is tapered by hand to balance the piece.
The head details would have been cut with chisel and file. The individual flanges would have been each crafted individually than inset into the haft in key ways or groves. They may also have be brazed in with a copper based alloy. Our replica has the head cast as a single unit in tool steel and is probably more durable in use than the originals. Check out our video spotlight on this excellent piece below!
Nathan Clough, Ph.D. is Vice President of Arms and Armor and a member of the governing board of The Oakeshott Institute. He is a historical martial artist and a former university professor of cultural geography. He has given presentations on historical arms at events including Longpoint and Combatcon, and presented scholarly papers at, among others, The International Congress on Medieval Studies.
Craig Johnson is the Production Manager of Arms and Armor and Secretary of The Oakeshott Institute. He has taught and published on the history of arms, armor and western martial arts for over 30 years. He has lectured at several schools and Universities, WMAW, HEMAC, 4W, and ICMS at Kalamazoo. His experiences include iron smelting, jousting, theatrical combat instruction and choreography, historical research, European martial arts and crafting weapons and armor since 1985.