Originally Posted by Victrix
It could originally have been a goosewing axe used to hew timber into beams and planks (useful at sea), and then adapted into a fighting axe? It's unlikely so much effort would have been used to decorate a common tool. The metal studs would have been intended to deflect cuts. The shaft looks later and could have been a fantasy afterthought to enhance supposed martial qualities of the axe head? I have not seen examples of medieval side clips before so could be more recent. The style of decoration look E.European, possibly Polish?
Thanks for your comments and yes a lot of work went into carving each diamond groove and inserting all those studs in very precise order. I have been searching Russian and Polish weapons without much success. Although studs do appear it is usually only a few not a dense pattern.
And thanks Wayne for the interesting story. It's always good to spice (garlic!) up a thread!