Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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David 23rd June 2020 09:18 PM

Mystery Axe
4 Attachment(s)
I'm not sure where to place this so i'll start with it here.
This isn't mine, but belongs to a friend. It was labeled as a "French fur trade battleaxe", but that seems highly doubtful. It is possibly very recent, but it does have a vintage look, so who knows... who knows? Anyone? Thanks! :)

David R 23rd June 2020 10:07 PM

Possibly a firemans axe.

A. G. Maisey 23rd June 2020 11:44 PM

To my eye this looks like a blacksmith's conversion of some sort of hammer head, or maybe recycling of a piece of axle.

The handle looks like it has been forge welded to the head.

The cutting edge is quite black, so maybe we're looking at a piece of steel inserted into an iron body. Can you see a joint? Inspection under magnification can assist.

Is there an eye in the head to take a timber handle? Maybe filled with a separate piece of metal? If not, then maybe its not a hammer head conversion, but that handle does look like a forge weld to the head, so it cannot be very recent, unless its a hobbyist's work.

I don't know about a war axe, I'd say something more like a case-makers hatchet.

kronckew 24th June 2020 06:00 AM

A very tool-like look to it.

David R 24th June 2020 09:10 AM

I think it might be a "Coal Hammer". When I was a lot younger coal arrived in sacks and was poured into a coal bunker ready for domestic use. Sometimes the pieces were too big to go on the fire, so you broke them up with a hammer. I can remember doing this as a lad. Some of these hammers were a bit fanciful, This could be one of them.

Rick 24th June 2020 04:08 PM

What are the dimensions David?
The blunt end seems to be quite peened over signifying that it has been subjected to blows from an equally hard object. I have seen old splitting wedges showing the same deformation.

kronckew 24th June 2020 05:52 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Here's a railroad coal spike hammer, 20 in, handle, note the mushroomed head from hitting the coal to break it up. this one also has a spike. The axe blade would be handy for splitting kindling to start the fire. When I was a younger, I had to start a coal fire in the pot belly stove out in the tool room/workshop behind the garage every morning so the family would have hot water. We had a hatchet for the coal busting & kindling process...

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