Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   My boarding axe... (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=11422)

M ELEY 5th February 2010 01:50 AM

My boarding axe...
 
6 Attachment(s)
Less than perfect pictures (too crunched-up, makes it look much more squat, short and broader than it really is. Oh well)

M ELEY 5th February 2010 01:57 AM

More...
 
4 Attachment(s)
Note the 4 sided pick head, heavy thick blade, langets with "grips" at tope of haft, etc. Total length of piece 17", bearded blade edge 3 1/4", edge to spike 8 3/4". Note the thickened eye, similar to Brit axes, blade and spike similar to French boarding axes...

M ELEY 5th February 2010 04:23 AM

The top of the eye where the haft passes through the head has an odd cross pattern with 4 small circles on it evident in one of the pics (6th pic) . Does anyone know what this represents? Is it from the wood lathe? A design? :confused:

M ELEY 6th February 2010 08:24 AM

After a little research, it seems I was right. Apparently, this cross and dot pattern has something to do with lathe marks for setting the axe head on properly. I thought this mark might help in the country of origin or perhaps date, but the lathe has been used since ancient Egypt, so maybe not. I know colonial Amer furniture was made on lathes like this. Anyway, one mystery solved, but others remain...

broadaxe 15th February 2010 09:32 AM

Intersting axe. As you have stated, I would also call it a hybrid of the Brtish and the French boarding axes, though I think the spike is more of the Brit tradition and the flaring blade has a French taste.
Having some experience with such items, it is very hard to tell when the late boarding axe ends and when the early personal fire axe begins. Both have shared some amount of service period along each other.

M ELEY 15th February 2010 03:12 PM

Hello and thanks for responding. Yes, this one definitely does have characteristics of both the French and British forms. You will note the forward and rear-facing langets so common on French pieces. You are right on when it comes to the whole transition from boarding axe to fire axe. You have probably heard me rumble on about the need for someone to write a book about so-called private purchase items. The govt naval examples are documented, but the vast majority of merchant examples are left to question...

broadaxe 16th February 2010 05:31 PM

Yep, I do remember that rumble. Such book will be of great help. The major problem I can forsee is where to find documents regarding private issue equipment; I guess in the UK it is reasonabely in order. What about other countries with great marine tradition? Germany, Poland, Italy, Spain, Greece and so on.
I myself have several so-called boarding axes that I cannot identify or tell from early fire axes.

M ELEY 18th February 2010 02:33 AM

Ohhh, you must show the pics! :D Any pics of axes are most welcome, as they are not seen here much. Amen, about the "lost " axes of maritime countries. It is interesting that you don't see this as much with the other boarding-type weapons. Cutlasses, in their very design, are immediately classified as 'possible' naval items. Certain brass blunderbus flintlock pistols are likewise thrown into this questionable pot of naval artifacts. Any trench spear or pike "might" have served aboard a naval vessel. I guess the reason that axes are treated differently is that they:

a) Survived into the modern era, unlike cutlass/pike/pistols (Ahh, if only cruise lines still had access to pikes for when pirates attack- ;) AND-

b) Because the boarding axe did make an evolution into the modern fire axe with only slight changes.

I think the typical features of a 'possible' private purchase boarding axe of the later period include a stout haft, thick blades, many with bearded blades, 4-sided spike points, some which curve downward. Many might have been hand-forged, but trip hammer casting began as early as 1830, with later boarding axe cast heads made as late as 1890's. The French patterns had squared eyes with front/rear-facing langets (this aspect however, is a common finding on some Euro camp axes I've seen), while Brit pieces had half-bearded blades and round eyes, with side langets an intregal part of the head itself (problem again, is that Brit fire axes continued the side langets, but they are typically shorter and flat ended vs rounded). One can only guess what the Scandanavian, Bavarian, Dutch, Imperial Russian, etc, types might have looked like. Gilkerson has some pics of the early Swede patterns, so we could extrapolate on those, I suppose. I was also curious if the E Indian sub-continent had adopted the Brit pattern boarding axe for their naval pattern (I've seen an Indian axe/percussion cap blunderbus combination whose axe blade looks remarkably similar to the French hache de borde). Anyway, an interesting subject for a book.

So, are you going to post those pics?

broadaxe 18th February 2010 05:55 AM

Yes, I'm going to take some pics and post them here. After all, we share the same thoughts.

broadaxe 27th February 2010 09:40 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Here are some photos. Pleae note I included a pair of poll-axes, because they share marine details and I believe they are boarding axes, too - well, one is obviously of the French type.
Feel free to refer to any of them (yes I know, within the three hanging axes, the central one is a common British fire axe, I was too lazy to take them off the wall).

M ELEY 28th February 2010 03:21 AM

Very nice examples, BroadAxe. It is nice to see positive proof that there are, in fact, private purchase boarding axes loosly based on the known naval patterns out there. I would like to call attention to the french piece with fancy blade, brass butt cap and forward/rear-facing langets! Very nice piece and green with envy! Note the classic diamond-shaped downward spike of classic French style. The blade style reminds me of some of the native-American tomahawks. It is a well-known fact that some of the well-known types of boarding axes ended up in tribal hands and were decorated accordingly (I've seen some in fur-trapper museums with the brass tacks, burned wire spiral decoration, etc).
The hammer pole axes show the direction that some of these axes were taking in regards to losing the spike in place of a practical tool end. Civil War boarding axes were complete with heavy blades, hammer ends and nail-pulling slots (these started to appear around 1850).
Nice collection you have there. I only have a few axes that I'll try to post here soon...

broadaxe 28th February 2010 07:52 AM

The connection between boarding axes and native tribes is well established. I wrote once a short article regarding the origins of the Spike Axe and the boarding axe. Unfortunately, the web page containing that article is off-line, but I've seen more than on citation from it on ebay auctions...

The fancy naval axe you were referring to, my opinion it was Dutch, because of its elaborated blade. There is a similar, earlier axe with an engraved blade, in a tool book, identified as Dutch. I like our friend Cornelistromp to share his knowledge.

M ELEY 1st March 2010 10:07 AM

BroadAxe, that site you referred to? It didn't happen to be TATCO or something like that? The guy who ran it (Tim something) lived in Texas and was a long-time collector of pipe axes. Great site. I thought it might of been that one when you mentioned you lived in Israel. I remembered a chap from there who had posted some articles. But perhaps I'm mistaken?

broadaxe 1st March 2010 10:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by M ELEY
BroadAxe, that site you referred to? It didn't happen to be TATCO or something like that? The guy who ran it (Tim something) lived in Texas and was a long-time collector of pipe axes. Great site. I thought it might of been that one when you mentioned you lived in Israel. I remembered a chap from there who had posted some articles. But perhaps I'm mistaken?


Guilty as charged ;)
and it was TATCA - Trade Axe and Tomahawk Collectors Association, owned by Tim Smith. There were tons of info and petty it went down.

M ELEY 1st March 2010 12:01 PM

That was a great site! I actually printed out copies of the site one night at work. Used up a whole ream of paper! :eek: Could have got in trouble for that one, but it was worth it! Definitely educated me on the differences between the Brit fire axes, camp axes and the real boarding pieces. likewise, Tim was great at answering questions about the trade. We had a lot of correspondence at one time. I contacted him via an ebay sale he had a year ago and he sent me a link to the archived pages. Unfortunately, stupid me lost it soon after! Do you stay in contact with him or know how to reach him? Perhaps know how to access the old archive. I'd love to post it here for anyone that would wish to peruse it. It really was a great site.

broadaxe 1st March 2010 01:27 PM

I don't know how to access the archive. I was in touch with Tim as well, but lost contact. I think you may find him on ebay, as timbokto2000 or something similar.

Norman McCormick 1st March 2010 05:31 PM

Hi Guys,
Try http://tatcalite.tripod.com or to contact pipeax@lycos.com
Regards,
Norman.

broadaxe 1st March 2010 06:34 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman McCormick
Hi Guys,
Try http://tatcalite.tripod.com or to contact pipeax@lycos.com
Regards,
Norman.


Hurrrraaaahhhh!!!
Many thanks!

M ELEY 1st March 2010 10:39 PM

Thank you very much, Norman!

junker 9th March 2010 06:58 PM

fire axe
 
Hi broaaxe,
i think the left one from the three hanging axes ist a common german fire axe.
There are quite often here in germany on internet auctions.
But in fact a very interesting topic.
I looked in several books of mine and find less than 5 pictures of boarding axes.
If anyone is interested i will scan them and post it, when my scanner will work again.
regards
Dirk

broadaxe 9th March 2010 08:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by junker
Hi broaaxe,
i think the left one from the three hanging axes ist a common german fire axe.
There are quite often here in germany on internet auctions.
But in fact a very interesting topic.
I looked in several books of mine and find less than 5 pictures of boarding axes.
If anyone is interested i will scan them and post it, when my scanner will work again.
regards
Dirk


I think you are right. That axe was the very first item in my axe collection and looks pretty recent (= second half of the 20th century), having a light wood handle (want to say, not dark of patina and handling) and a modern-looking, original paint job. 1950-1960's-ish? The spike though, is intimidating, being of strong diamond cross section, rather the more common contemporary oblong one.

M ELEY 10th March 2010 06:48 AM

Hurray! I found it!
 
Well, I was unable to reach Tim again as I had done in the past, but I did manage to find the old link to the site. Unfortunately, Tim had a series of health problems coupled with financial woes and likewise, a nasty poster on his forum site wrecked havac with the threads. He really stuck it to many of the fakers on eBay selling foreign ice axes, newly made tomahawks and ground down tool axes as "real" antique pieces. Unfortunately, this earned him a lot of enemies and he closed down his site. Here is the archive-

http://tatcalite.tripod.com/id2.htm

junker 12th March 2010 07:07 PM

pics
 
2 Attachment(s)
So finaly i made the pictures with my camera.
First drawing shoud be sweden around 1780
Second french 1800

M ELEY 13th March 2010 05:25 AM

Thanks, Dirk. You are a better picture-taker than I (proof being the axe pics that started this thread :rolleyes: ). I'm curious about the title of that book you have. I hadn't seen this one yet. I like the entrebail (spelling!) with it's long haft. Pretty cool!

junker 14th March 2010 03:44 PM

book
 
The book named "Europäische Hieb- und Stichwaffen" by Müller/Kölling

broadaxe 14th March 2010 08:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by junker
The book named "Europäische Hieb- und Stichwaffen" by Müller/Kölling


That's an excellent source, one of the very few which also deals with peasant weapons.

M ELEY 15th March 2010 11:45 AM

Thank you. Unfortunately, 'Ich sprechen klein Deutch' :o

broadaxe 19th March 2010 08:23 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by M ELEY
Thank you. Unfortunately, 'Ich sprechen klein Deutch' :o


Me too, but combining my knoledge in English and French I can understand the basics. Besides, I read photos in any language... ;)

M ELEY 21st March 2010 12:47 AM

Ahh, yes. A picture is worth a thousand words- :)


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