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A replica of a partisan head found on a shipwreck of a vessel sailed by French explorer René Robert Cavelier de La Salle in his search for the mouth of the Mississippi River. The wreck was found in 12 feet of water off the Texas coast. Accounts from French and Spanish historical documents, along with the recovery of a distinctive bronze cannon more than six feet long, weighing some 700 pounds, and bearing the crest of Louis XIV suggest that this vessel is the Belle, one of four ships provided by the French king in 1684 for La Salle's expedition. A team led by marine archaeologist Barto Arnold of the Texas Historical Commission has also recovered pewter plates, lead shot, several complete pottery vessels, a stoneware pitcher, a sword hilt, a brass buckle, bells, straight pins, glass trade beads, and this style of parisan (or pike) with remnants of a wooden handle. The artifacts were well preserved, having been covered in the sand and mud of Matagorda Bay.
The smallest of the four ships in the expedition, the Belle sank in January 1686, while La Salle was exploring eastern Texas. One of the other three was captured by the Spanish, one returned to France, and the third sank while entering Matagorda Bay. The Texas Historical Commission has been looking for this ship as well. La Salle was murdered by members of his crew, who mutinied during an attempt to find the Mississippi on foot. Sickness and attacks by Karankowa Indians killed all but 12 of 180 remaining crew members and colonists.
This handsome steel partisan head was hand forged with fire, water blood sweat and tears, hammered out and chiseled from a lump of steel. It is not a mass-produced ('stamped out') item vomited forth from some Chinese factory. It bears the tooling marks of a proud craftsman, has some black smudges (which can be polished away if you feel so inclined) and the occasional nick - in other words, it's much like an original infantry weapon would have been back in the day. The imperfections are perfect!
This is sharp! Do not use it for re-enactment, sparring or theatrical purposes, because this partisan is the real deal. The 'wings' are not additional blades, but are there for parrying and 'spear fencing' purposes. These wings could also hook into an opponents armour or clothing - sending him off balance: particularly useful against advancing cavalry. These wings are very solid, being over half a centimeter thick. The socket section tapers slightly and is 3.3cm wide at its base and 13.5cm deep, with a single nail hole. The overall length is a very respectable 50cm, and it is 16.5cm wide.