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Old 1st July 2020, 05:36 PM   #1
BUCC_Guy
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Default An Italian Bill (Roncone) for comment

Do any of you gentlemen have thoughts or details on this Italian Bill?

I found one of similar construction (diamond spike, hard angle hook) previously sold by Christies.

Is it a safe bet that this one is likely 1520-1530?

My initial thought was that this one was indeed earlier than most on the market as construction is a bit more crude than the more refined, sleek Bills we see later in the 16th century. The hook angle is closer to a 90 degree angle than most examples.
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Old 1st July 2020, 05:59 PM   #2
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Pretty much like mine, that you can see HERE
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Old 6th July 2020, 10:33 AM   #3
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What are your thoughts now ...Guy ?. By the way, does this Roncone belong in your collection ?
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Old 9th July 2020, 03:04 PM   #4
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I am working on getting it shipped, so it isnít in my possession yet.

I usually try to match up construction styles for polearms with existing examples. Aside from some notable orders, like Sempach halberds, most polearms differ a little bit.

I am looking for other examples of this particular bill style, as the only one I could find online was posted above.

What stinks is I have seen this particular bill style before, I just canít find photos.
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Old 10th July 2020, 12:44 PM   #5
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Red face Some questions ...

Say Guy, have you opened the link to my roncone example, per my posted #2 ?
Is the one you are about to import still complete with its whole haft ? When i had mine shipped from Italy, its (square section) pole was sawn in two halves, for shipping conveniences. The cut off part was included in the package, although this wouldn't represent such loss, as the haft was not the original.
Speaking of Sempach typology, have you any example of such halberds ?
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Old 15th July 2020, 01:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Say Guy, have you opened the link to my roncone example, per my posted #2 ?
Is the one you are about to import still complete with its whole haft ? When i had mine shipped from Italy, its (square section) pole was sawn in two halves, for shipping conveniences. The cut off part was included in the package, although this wouldn't represent such loss, as the haft was not the original.
Speaking of Sempach typology, have you any example of such halberds ?


I actually saw your thread before I even posted this thread. I liked it.

I am opting to not cut the haft, even though it is not original. I donít want to have to deal with repairing it. It is very long and a repair is more likely to break. This example is already in the U.S., and it is 2.92 meters, so I am paying a lot for transport.

I shipped four uncut polearms from Italy for less than this one polearm!
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Old 12th November 2020, 03:35 AM   #7
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Updating thread with new pictures.

While roncones (bisarmas, rosschinders, bills) usually follow the same pattern in Italy, thereís a few notable trends. Iíll reference the numbered examples in the first picture.

1) The blade below the hook usually bulges out. I call this the ďbelly.Ē Some are more pronounced (#8) and some are more rounded (#7)
2) The main front spear is either a spike (diamond cross-section, slightly wider than the blade, like #7, #9, and mine) or an extension of the blade, being the same thickness but possibly reinforced further up (#8).
3) The same type of spike construction can apply to the rear spike as well, although all of the examples in the picture are of the wider, flatter blade type, mine is the diamond cross-section type.
4) The hook itself can very in length (extending out from the main blade) and stoutness.


What makes mine unusual is the angle of the hook, as it is almost a right angle and does not curve downward much. I posted the only dated example I could find in the original post, and Iíll keep looking for more.

I bought this roncone because I needed one for my collection and it is a very impressive size. However, I find #8 to be the most attractive form. Thomas Del Mar sold a number of great examples years ago.


Attached are some pictures showing the closer details.

I am debating cleaning it. I generally do not touch my antique metals if there is no active rust, but a gentle rub with oil couldnít hurt anything aside from my emotions.
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Old 12th November 2020, 04:07 AM   #8
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Stumbled upon another example sold at Bonhams, described as early part of the 16th century.

Similar hook and spike as mine, but a weaker socket area, and the spike is not in line with the haft (which I find unappealing both artistically and if I wanted to stab someone.)
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Old 12th November 2020, 09:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUCC_Guy
I actually saw your thread before I even posted this thread. I liked it.

I am opting to not cut the haft, even though it is not original. I donít want to have to deal with repairing it. It is very long and a repair is more likely to break. This example is already in the U.S., and it is 2.92 meters, so I am paying a lot for transport.

I shipped four uncut polearms from Italy for less than this one polearm!


Yes a word of warning on this. I paid several hundred USD for transport of a halberd from Austria to Sweden. The transport cost almost as much as the item itself. If it hadnít been for the pandemic I would have traveled down there myself to bring it home!

It was packed in a 3m long solid wooden crate by the packing company even though the haft is not original which was pointed out to them. I think the package weighted 40kg and I could only lift one end and drag it on the ground. I needed a special L shaped tool to remove the special screws manually to open the crate. Luckily I managed to open one end to pull out the halberd from the crate. Then I had to dispose of the crate which took some thinking as I live in central Stockholm.

How did the Italians package the polearms?
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Old 12th November 2020, 09:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUCC_Guy
Do any of you gentlemen have thoughts or details on this Italian Bill?

I found one of similar construction (diamond spike, hard angle hook) previously sold by Christies.

Is it a safe bet that this one is likely 1520-1530?

My initial thought was that this one was indeed earlier than most on the market as construction is a bit more crude than the more refined, sleek Bills we see later in the 16th century. The hook angle is closer to a 90 degree angle than most examples.


Nice Roncone! It looks in quite good condition so you donít need to do anything with it. You could clean the metal with a little bit of white spirit and then apply mineral oil or alternatively Renaissance Wax (less oily). You could use walnut (no smell nor colour, doesnít turn rancid) oil to preserve the wood.
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Old 12th November 2020, 05:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix
Yes a word of warning on this. I paid several hundred USD for transport of a halberd from Austria to Sweden. The transport cost almost as much as the item itself. If it hadnít been for the pandemic I would have traveled down there myself to bring it home!

It was packed in a 3m long solid wooden crate by the packing company even though the haft is not original which was pointed out to them. I think the package weighted 40kg and I could only lift one end and drag it on the ground. I needed a special L shaped tool to remove the special screws manually to open the crate. Luckily I managed to open one end to pull out the halberd from the crate. Then I had to dispose of the crate which took some thinking as I live in central Stockholm.

How did the Italians package the polearms?


I feel your pain! Heavy and awkward, but very sturdy. I also lived in the middle of a city at the time and had to buy a saw just to destroy the crate. Plus, I had to pay a building staff member to bring it up to my condo.
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Old 13th November 2020, 02:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUCC_Guy

I found one of similar construction (diamond spike, hard angle hook) previously sold by Christies.

Is it a safe bet that this one is likely 1520-1530?

My initial thought was that this one was indeed earlier than most on the market as construction is a bit more crude than the more refined, sleek Bills we see later in the 16th century. The hook angle is closer to a 90 degree angle than most examples.


Thanks for posting all the photos, and discussing comparable examples. I agree on your assessment of date. It's a nice example of a no-frills service weapon of a foot soldier of the era. Condition isn't at all bad for something that's been round the block a few times, five centuries ago.
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Old 13th November 2020, 11:28 AM   #13
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Great looking item

It looks like a real multi tool of a weapon with spikes and blades in all directions, like the African throwing knives in a way.

Personally I take a similar approach to cleaning, only when active rust is present.

Great collection of polearms by the way I enjoy your posts

regards
Ken
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Old 16th November 2020, 09:44 PM   #14
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as the roncone gets "younger" it also gets smaller in shape, well 1500 onwards, from a certain point in the second half of the 16thC more suitable for processing and less as a fighting weapon.
I usually use Bashford Dean's polearms overview for dating purposes.

best,
Jasper
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Old 24th November 2020, 04:30 AM   #15
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Stumbled upon a somewhat similar construction, described as mid-16th century. The form of my roncone is certainly difficult to nail down. I hope to get a more typical one in the future.


On the plus side, I completed the majority of the weapon mounting in my new house.
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Old 24th November 2020, 05:41 AM   #16
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Default what is typical for these?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUCC_Guy
Stumbled upon a somewhat similar construction, described as mid-16th century. The form of my roncone is certainly difficult to nail down. I hope to get a more typical one in the future.


On the plus side, I completed the majority of the weapon mounting in my new house.


Great displays! I like your choice of furniture as well.

There are some interesting things about your roncone, the unusually long dorsal spike is a nice touch. These weapons were extremely popular for about two centuries, used in various European countries and even copied by the Turks (likely due to their prolonged contact with Italian forces and the Knights of St John in the Mediterranean and the Balkans). If you would review the entry on "Bill" in Stone's Glossary... and the accompanying Fig. 149 with 9 examples of various shapes (all ex-Bashford Dean), you'll see what I mean. Well, with the space in your new house, you can start hunting for several major variations, not just one "typical" style!
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Old 24th November 2020, 05:22 PM   #17
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Fantastic display!
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Old 24th November 2020, 05:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix
Fantastic display!

Indeed .
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