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Old 26th October 2013, 01:51 PM   #1
CutlassCollector
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Default Scandinavian Boarding Axe

I have recently acquired these two Scandinavian boarding axes but I cannot identify them exactly. They are a similar to the 1780 Swedish model - see picture 3 for comparison - but whether they came before or after, or were private purchase I cannot tell. I would also like to narrow down the country of origin - any ideas?

It is interesting that the axes are still together after all this time and probably came from the same ship. Although, at first glance, they look very similar there are many small variations in size and shape. Even the handles are a slightly different diameter and length, but both have had some black coating which is mostly worn away or been removed. It makes me think that these axes were individually hand made .

The heads were rusted and no clear marking showed up after cleaning off the rust. Knowing my usually flawed optimism in deciphering numbers and letters, when none are there, from surface defects and corrosion marks, I hesitate to suggest that the marks in picture four are the remains of a logo but as similar, fainter, marks appear on both axes on both sides of the head I think it worth risking the embarrassment! Outline of a bird with feathers or tool marks?
Any comments welcome. CC
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Old 31st October 2013, 10:36 AM   #2
M ELEY
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Beautiful examples, unfortunately I don't have much to add other than guesswork. I would assume just from the general shape and the fact that they appear to be early cast heads, I would venture private purchase examples, mid-19th, made in the likeness of their earlier cousin. That they are boarding axes seems certain. I know of no fire implements with hafts like these.
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Old 1st November 2013, 04:43 PM   #3
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Thanks Mark always good to get your opinion. I sometimes wish there was more knowledge to draw on in this area, as apart from Gilkerson I have found very little written sources. Anyone know of any other references on boarding axes - please let me know. CC.
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Old 4th November 2013, 10:53 PM   #4
M ELEY
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Hi CC,
Yes, there are next to NO references on boarding axes out there. I think this is one of the reasons so many people either accidentally or purposely list everything from lathing axes to Boy Scout axes as boarding pieces. While hardly having an extensive library, I do have a number of books on maritime weapons, pirates, shipwrecks, weapons, Rev War items, archeaological sites, etc.

The only reference I have found that offers maybe a page or two of material and some good pics is Hartzler and Knowles work- "Indian Tomahawks and Frontiersmen Belt Axes". Great stuff on spike axes as well (the precursor to the 'Typed' axes we all know).
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