The Knightly Pollaxe is a magnificent weapon. While the majority of polearms are usually used by lower status soldiers and levy troops, this axe was seen most often as the arm of a fully armoured knight fighting on foot. The piece often being decorated and finished as a status symbol as well as a deadly arm for combat.
Pollaxe combat inside the barriers
The axe was used in tournament combat as well as in battle for dismounted knights. The head or "poll" usually consists of an axe blade on the front and a spike or hammer face on the back. There are several examples with a hammer adorned by a spike coming from its face. The one we have replicated has a straight bladed axe, while others will have a crescent shaped blade and there are a few examples with a recurved blade. The hammer face on this elegant example is two rows of spike shaped teeth running top to bottom on each side of a flat channel down the center. On the original this central channel is set with a latten plate worked with foliage and the words "de Bon" and a heart shape probably implying the meaning "of good heart". There are also latten strips inlaid in the side of the head flush with the surface on the original. we do not include the latten to moderate price on our replica.
Arms & Armor Pollaxe Review
Our replica of the Knightly Poll Axe is an impressive reproduction of the original and has all the major elements from the inset side langets to the ash haft and sculpted butt cap. These details are all set as the original now sits in the museum. Details like the rondel for hand protection may have been mounted higher on the weapon in period. We are happy to provide the piece with such a modification as you would like.
The noble Pollaxe is an excellent weapon for armoured combat and one that we have made for many years and used for research and training. The axe in the hand of an armored opponent would present one with a challenge in combat and would truly be a test of arms.
Knight depicted with pollaxe
Check out some further information on Pollaxes and their use.
Link to Le Jeu de la Hache a period description of pollaxe combat.
Pollarm books for further research
The Medieval Poleaxe on MyArmoury
Knightly Pollaxe duel
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.