Arms and Armor

French Gothic Mace

Overall Length: 23.5 inches
Head Length: 4.75 inches
Head Diameter: 4 inches from cross
Weight: 3.4 lbs

Performance Review: The Arms and Armor French Gothic Mace weighs in at 3.4 lbs. In sword weights that's on the hefty side but not terrible. So you might be thinking that's no big deal... until you remember that the entire length of the mace is less then 2 feet long. That' means you have a lot of weight concentrated in a small package. Most of that weight is focused on the head of the mace and upon impact all the kinetic energy generated by the force of the swing is concentrated on one of the mace's flanges. I believe that those blows would be significant even to a fully armored opponent. No one would be shrugging a hit by one of these maces off.

Appearance: Impact weapons are often characterized as being somewhat crude and indeed that is often the case, after all the cheapest of weapons supplied to the medieval army were the spears, bills, halberds, pikes and morgensterns supplied to the poorly paid (or unpaid) infantry. However, the French Gothic Mace represents the other end of the spectrum of impact weapons, that is impact weapons used by the nobility when plate defenses had become so robust that swords were largely ineffective against the more heavily armored opponents. The Gothic Mace is very nicely executed the head features an attractive bronze finial, nicely formed flanges with decorative cutouts and is smoothly welded to the all metal shaft. The shaft itself features a bronze ring on it's lenght and a rondel type guard. The grip is wrapped in Arms and Armor's customary stitched leather. This weapon can easily be pictured in the hand of a knightly or noble warrior.

Conclusion: Despite the basic crudeness of combat with an impact weapon at which the French Gothic Mace was designed to excel this weapon manages to bring a noble aesthetic along with its rudimentary function. The French Gothic Mace as pictured in this review is no longer part of Arms and Armor's catologue, however they have a replacement item the "High Gothic Mace" which appears to be very similar in form and function but without the attractive bronze finial and band. I would expect that for those looking for an impact weapon with a touch of class this is really one of the best production alternatives available.