The Lantern shield was a strange combination weapon, which developed in 16th century Italy. It was made up of a small buckler about 30cm in diameter with a spiked plate gauntlet attached that came out just beyond the deg of the shield. The spikes on the gauntlet were designed to trap and break an opponent’s blade and were serrated edged. A long straight sword blade was fitted to the shield below the gauntlet as a thrusting weapon, which ran parallel to the forearm and extended back beyond the users elbow. The centre of the shield held a short spike and a hook arrangement so that the lantern that gives this weapon its name could be carried. During this period in Italy fencers sometimes carried lanterns to dazzle their foes, and training schools in the use of such tactics existed. How useful such a complex weapons would have been is hard to tell certainly its complexity and weight does not help its utility.
How to cite this article: Dugdale-Pointon, TDP. (19 April 2004), Lantern Shield, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_lanternshield.html