16th Century, Rare Military Use Handcrafted and Hand-Wrought Iron and Wooden authentic “War Flail”, Whole and Complete, Very Fine.Original 16th Century Military “War Flail” measures about 62” overall, with the wooden handle section being 39” long and the Flail head measuring 22” long with a short flexible leather strap is held between the two sections. The Iron and wood surfaces are somewhat darken from age. The surface does have some areas of wear, still solid yet with expected age splits to the wood and having very old (centuries) reinforcement to the leather hinge. The lower handle section is connected to the six added sections of deep patina iron weights on this War Head, so as to inflict more damage to the opponent, connected with leather and sinew. At some later point in time, thin .75” wide tin straps were nailed onto both sides to support the heavy head. Six heavy iron rings have a dark patina and the metal weighted end tapers to a 6.25” rounded point. An unusual type of weapon, rarely ever encountered in museums, as they would tend to be destroyed from use and deteriorate over time.
A flail is a weapon consisting of a striking head attached to a handle by a flexible rope, strap, or chain. The chief tactical virtue of the flail was its capacity to strike around a defender's shield or parry. Its chief liability was a lack of precision and the difficulty of using it in close combat, or closely-ranked formations.
There are two broad types of flail: a long, two-handed infantry weapon with a cylindrical head, and a shorter weapon with a round metal striking head. The longer cylindrical-headed flail is a hand weapon derived from the agricultural tool of the same name, commonly used in threshing. It was primarily considered a peasant's weapon, and while not common, they were deployed in Germany and Central Europe in the later Late Middle Ages. The smaller, more spherical-headed flail appears to be even less common; it appears occasionally in artwork from the 15th century onward in use as a military style weapon.