Originally Posted by kai
Some of the nails do look more like a hazard than good quality work of old. Maybe a restored piece?
Yes that took my eye as well. Given the price these axes fetch when they have all this bling on the handle, I would not be surprised if it had some restoration done to it.
The high prices these attract seems to be more related to the quality of the decoration, rather than the quality of the axe head. Perhaps these are seen as more of a symbol of office than an actual weapon for use, much like a princely scepter.
Probably explains why I picked up this Kalinga axe head for very little about 20 years ago--the axe head is every bit as good as the one above, just minus the handle and decoration!