Originally Posted by broadaxe
To my eye it looks like an old Scandinavian hewing axe (not a 'goosewing' which is different form) - something with the shadows in the photo tells me it is single-beveled , mounted on a later haft. The elaborated work looks almost 'too good' , so it may be a Victorian-era put-together piece.
Thanks for your input, I suspect your knowledge of axes is much broader than mine!
A Victorian piece is a possibility - plenty of battle axe examples - but the belt hook and langets argue against it. Also - and I realise that where/when an item was purchased is of only limited use - this axe was purchased in 1935 in NE United States and has been in the museum ever since. I'm assuming that there was much less cross Atlantic collector traffic back then.
Scandinavian keeps cropping up. I have a photo of the other side and the back - see what you think.
I still favour the notion that this was someone's personal weapon, put together and decorated with loving care! Could be wrong though.