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Old 20th September 2017, 10:16 PM   #1
silberschatzimsee
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Default Axehead for discussion

After lurking here around for some time now i am proud to present my first ancient weapon i purchased earlier this month

I would appreciate your comments and remarks about it.

Kind regards
Andi

Last edited by fernando : 13th February 2019 at 06:51 AM. Reason: Links to photo hosts not allowed, as per rules.
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Old 20th September 2017, 10:21 PM   #2
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Small picture
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Old 21st September 2017, 04:03 PM   #3
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looks a bit new. uniform patination looks unusual. where did you get it from? any providence? can you post a picture looking down at the eye? i like it, no matter what age it is would look good re-hafted in a nice grainy wood like yew...
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Old 21st September 2017, 05:18 PM   #4
fernando
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How old to be ancient, Andi ? No corrosion, or other signs of age .
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Old 21st September 2017, 06:27 PM   #5
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I believe the patina etc of this axe head are as a result of modern "conservation" methods. I have seen several similar examples in recent times, and it could well be ancient.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 10:11 AM   #6
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It's so-called "Byzantine" battle axe.
Here is an excavated example from Crimea.
As for the discussed axe head, I'm not sure that it's authentic.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 12:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evgeny_K
It's so-called "Byzantine" battle axe.
Here is an excavated example from Crimea.
As for the discussed axe head, I'm not sure that it's authentic.


Would this type of axe have been used by the Varangian guard?
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Old 22nd September 2017, 01:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix
Would this type of axe have been used by the Varangian guard?


I'm not sure.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 03:26 PM   #9
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@all Thank you for your input
It was sold to me as byzantine broad axe , modern cleaned and conserved, to me. So evgeny was spot on with his excavated example which looks very similar.
Its from a london collection which contained a lot of viking axeheads formed in the 1950s.

I have attached more pictures of the axehead. It seems as there is some black coating and then some kind of wax applied on top of it.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 08:25 PM   #10
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it shows a few more warts and booboos than the original photo, which is good. over 'conserved' and polished a bit too much if it is real. inside of the eye looks like what i'd expect in an old head w/o it's haft. not conserved as much.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 03:44 PM   #11
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Nice axe and a close match to Evgeny_K's example.

But I share the doubts about the age.
Apart from the lack of warts and wrinkles as has already been pointed out, the edges are too neat even chamfered in places. I'm unconvinced that any conservation would go that far or turn out that good on a roughly 800 year old axe.
CC
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Old 28th September 2017, 09:36 AM   #12
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Thanks for your input guys. I thrust the coinoirseurship of the previous owner that its a real one. It was not much money involved but still it would annoy me of course if its a piece of historism from the 19 century or so.

Neitherless i have noted to myself not to purchase overconserved items next time.
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Old 29th September 2017, 06:27 PM   #13
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Sorry to say it looks like a good replica.
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Old 29th September 2017, 08:12 PM   #14
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Sorry, To me it looks like a modern piece,
if it was a conserved piece I do not think the angles would be so sharp, when removing the metal to bring the surface down to smooth all the definition of the piece would be lost
More pictures and angles of pictures would help define opinion though.

I have done a fair bit of restoration on items and to me to take a file or a grinder to a surface to remove blemishes would be many a bridge too far

Just my opinion we are all inviduals

Ken
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Old 29th September 2017, 08:38 PM   #15
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I will make some pictures tomorrow under daylight.

The contures of the axehead are indeed very clear after i looked at it again.
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Old 7th October 2017, 12:25 PM   #16
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Sorry for the delay guys. Here as promised more pictures from the replica? axe
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Old 13th February 2019, 06:01 AM   #17
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I found this post while researching a Petersen type M axehead I received as a gift for Christmas this past year. It was purchased from the same place that your axehead was purchased.

Your axehead is really cool looking.

After further research, here are my findings.

TL;DR: It was treated with rust converter; it could be authentic or it could be a more modern reproduction. Very hard to more precisely date it without some surface destructive analysis.

The axehead has been conserved with rust converter; the eye is harder to apply the rust converter to. The most common rust converters use tannic acid to convert iron oxide (i.e., rust) into the bluish-black ferric tannate and simultaneously apply a protective primer layer. You can find more information on the wikipedia page at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rust_converter.

A bi-product of the process is that the rust converter fills in macroscopic pores (though it is generally microscopically porous as discussed in the articles I link to below) and pits, and smooths out the surface corrosion of the artifact. So there might have been warts and wrinkles before it was treated.

The US National Center for Preservation Technology & Training (NCPTT) calls rust converters "a reliable avenue for protection" of rusty fences, grates, car parts, artwork and collectibles. They are in the midst of a multi-year study, and here are links to the study initiation and their first round of results:
https://www.ncptt.nps.gov/blog/mate...onvertor-study/
https://www.ncptt.nps.gov/blog/comp...ust-converters/

There is a lab that I like to send more expensive items to for XRF testing. I recently asked them about conducting XRF testing of items treated with rust converter. Here is an edited version of their response:

"We are happy to take a look, the rust converter (typically Paraloid B (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraloid_B-72) I believe) should cause issues with the XRF process. We have had issues where the patina or some surface level incrustation causes issues getting good results. Typically if we own the piece we'll clean off a very small section to get better results."
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Old 13th February 2019, 12:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vilhelmsson
... TL;DR: It was treated with rust converter; it could be authentic or it could be a more modern reproduction. Very hard to more precisely date it without some surface destructive analysis...

Welcome to the forum, Vilhelmsson .
Interesting links on rust conversion; still you don't hold a firm opinion on the authenticity of both yours and Andi's axes ... right ?
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Old 14th February 2019, 12:03 AM   #19
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Thank you Fernando.

I do not hold a firm opinion regarding either item. But I would avoid buying any allegedly historical weapon that has been treated with rust converter, unless it was really interesting and I wouldn't mind if it was inauthentic at the price.
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Old 14th February 2019, 02:04 PM   #20
Pukka Bundook
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Just an observation gentlemen;

The axe in the opening post is much thicker in the blade both before and behind the eye. This axe head will be a good deal heavier than the one in the photo kindly attached by Evgeny.
To me this points to a good quality reproduction.
Evgeny's axe would be much faster in use if the overall size is the same.

Rust converter or no, I would have thought the blade would be Very deeply pitted, whereas this is not the case.

Best wishes,
Richard.
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