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Old 21st September 2019, 01:14 PM   #1
chiefheadknocker
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Default Unusually large indian/persian axe ,tourist maybe ?

This is another recent buy , its unusually large measuring 32 cm across ,im not sure if this could be a tourist piece though it does look to have some age , the shaft is quite short and is wrapped in snake skin .
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Old 21st September 2019, 02:59 PM   #2
Iain
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This is Sudanese. This style was in vogue during the Mhadist period.
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Old 21st September 2019, 03:18 PM   #3
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I think it is ceremonial/parade example.
Fighting axes have wedge-like blades.
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Old 21st September 2019, 04:14 PM   #4
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I am not convinced that these are only parade weapons. Weapon quality may also depend on the quality of the users. The peasantry and slaves would be armed. Still needing the etched encouraging slogans. In my experience a lot of these things are quite well made with good steel.
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Old 21st September 2019, 04:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
I think it is ceremonial/parade example.
Fighting axes have wedge-like blades.


I agree. Ariel expressed the right opinion
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Old 21st September 2019, 08:05 PM   #6
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if you compare this kind of axe to the very simple and very effective axe weapons of southern Africa you can see how a glancing blow might take half of you face off. An opponent is very unlikely to fight back.
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Old 21st September 2019, 09:53 PM   #7
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I'm in between the positions here:
yes they are ritual or parade axes
yes they could have been used as weapons if they were brought on battlefield.
I can rip half of your face off with an iron or i can stab you with a butter knife.
As far i know derwish axes were also used as weapons sometimes.
Even not sharpened they could have been used as blunt weapons or maces...
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Old 22nd September 2019, 02:55 AM   #8
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My axe " Bible" is James Gamble " Axes of war and power"
P. 14: virtually identical Persian axe defined as " parade" and dated to 1875.
His sine qua non definition of a "war axe" is a V-construction.

Can we maim an opponent with that axe, slicing half of his face off, stabbing him with a straight protrusion at the top or just smashing his head by using an axe as a mace? Sure. But this is a AXE, and axes were supposed to cleave , not stab or bonk ( even in British jargon:-)) For that we have other weapons.
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Old 22nd September 2019, 06:32 AM   #9
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Am I right in thinking the axe heads were cut from sheet metal, divided in two, and the halves welded to a multifaceted tube for mounting. The beveled edge suggests that the blades are of fairly uniform thinness throughout. Are the blades iron or steel?
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Old 22nd September 2019, 10:11 AM   #10
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Reference:
A. https://www.academia.edu/36217967/S...y_Mahdist_Sudan

In this exceptional reference are details on Sufi use of weapons and traditions dating back centuries. In fact the Luttis; a sect of the Sufi, used these weapons in gang fighting to good effect and were feared amongst the population. The paper discusses the influence of these decorated arms on Sudanese weapons of the Mahdi.

I think what is interesting is that such arms were used across regions spanning the entire Muslim world and not confined to any one country. In other words they went where the Sufi sect went. The lethality of two headed axes arises here and it may be that such weapons were only used for shock effect per se since the idea may not have been to kill the opponent but to suppress as outlined above by Ariel perhaps with a "bonk on the head" rather than to remove it!

Deaths however, were not uncommon in these Sufi groups against their enemies. They used other weapons to boot including clubs.. In using two headed and single headed moon shaped axes I doubt that the idea was to massacre the opposition.. as also noted by Kubur. Ordinary Sufis carried the axe as outlined in Reference A as a tradition.

In the case of the project axe at #1 typically the haft is given the reptile skin treatment . In the battle concept talismanic infused, decorated calligraphy, on arms at the time of Omdurman (not the Mahdi but by his successor) these axe heads and alam acted like battle emblems or flags meant to inspire warriors in the attack...augmenting the profuse decorated flags shirts and other weaponry on the battlefield.
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Old 22nd September 2019, 10:11 AM   #11
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The first pic shows clearly that the blades were indeed cut from sheet metal and then “swallow- tailed” into the massive tube. Likely, welded after that.
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Old 22nd September 2019, 04:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Reference:
A. https://www.academia.edu/36217967/S...y_Mahdist_Sudan

In this exceptional reference are details on Sufi use of weapons and traditions dating back centuries. In fact the Luttis; a sect of the Sufi, used these weapons in gang fighting to good effect and were feared amongst the population. The paper discusses the influence of these decorated arms on Sudanese weapons of the Mahdi.

I think what is interesting is that such arms were used across regions spanning the entire Muslim world and not confined to any one country. In other words they went where the Sufi sect went. The lethality of two headed axes arises here and it may be that such weapons were only used for shock effect per se since the idea may not have been to kill the opponent but to suppress as outlined above by Ariel perhaps with a "bonk on the head" rather than to remove it!

Deaths however, were not uncommon in these Sufi groups against their enemies. They used other weapons to boot including clubs.. In using two headed and single headed moon shaped axes I doubt that the idea was to massacre the opposition.. as also noted by Kubur. Ordinary Sufis carried the axe as outlined in Reference A as a tradition.

In the case of the project axe at #1 typically the haft is given the reptile skin treatment . In the battle concept talismanic infused, decorated calligraphy, on arms at the time of Omdurman (not the Mahdi but by his successor) these axe heads and alam acted like battle emblems or flags meant to inspire warriors in the attack...augmenting the profuse decorated flags shirts and other weaponry on the battlefield.




This is outstanding insight !! Thank you. I had not heard of the Lutti sect, but of course knew of the Sufi prevalence in Sudan. Very well pointed out about the acid etched thuluth on these items, much as on sword blades and the profound religious symbolism involved.
As noted these and the alam were often a kind of regrouping standard and very much were seen as inspirational in action.

It seems I had seen references to these double head axes in Indian context (I believe in the reference by Haider, not at hand at the moment) but that these were court arms and not used in battle.
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Old 22nd September 2019, 08:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
these double head axes in Indian context (I believe in the reference by Haider, not at hand at the moment) but that these were court arms and not used in battle.


That's strange and in fact right, it seems that most of double head axes are ritual.

Guys do you know any Indian or Persian battle double head axes???
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Old 24th September 2019, 06:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
That's strange and in fact right, it seems that most of double head axes are ritual.

Guys do you know any Indian or Persian battle double head axes???


Yes indeed , here is my Indian all steel double headed axe
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Old 24th September 2019, 07:23 AM   #15
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At first glance that looks like a decorated small parade axe, the spike doesn't appear to be long enough to do much damage in thrusting thru mail, arming jacket, etc. as it is prevented from going in full length by the blades and the axe blades look like flat steel welded to the central hub rather than integral ad tapering in thickness from it. The edges do not appear to have ever been sharpened either. Better photos from the top & edge on might help show otherwise tho.
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Old 24th September 2019, 07:27 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
At first glance that looks like a decorated small parade axe, the spike doesn't appear to be long enough to do much damage in thrusting thru mail, arming jacket, etc. as it is prevented from going in full length by the blades and the axe blades look like flat steel welded to the central hub rather than integral ad tapering in thickness from it. The edges do not appear to have ever been sharpened either. Better photos from the top & edge on might help show otherwise tho.


Yes that was my feeling too , the edges are not sharp , the spike however has been broken and might have been longer originally. I have posted another axe which I believe is Indian , see below ....
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Old 24th September 2019, 07:33 AM   #17
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Here is another of my double headed axes which I believe to be Indian . It is much larger than the all steel one I show above. It has a wooden haft which shows traces of once having been decorated with painted designs . The axe blades are sharp and have overall floral decoration commonly seen in Indian weapons . The spike protrudes about 1.5 inches beyond the axe head though again it looks to have been shortened by damage. The axe blades together are 9 inches across.
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Old 24th September 2019, 07:34 AM   #18
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Mine suffers from the same failings as the earlier one, but at least has a reasonably sharp edge, and if I needed to defend myself I could unscrew and use the dagger. Would'nt want to hack a man in armour with the axe part tho. Might make him madder.
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Old 24th September 2019, 07:49 AM   #19
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Two more of mine which are battle capable, the shorter one is from northern India, possibly Afghani, I note the head is set from below like a tomahawk, the haft swells a bit above it, unlike an axe which is set from the top and held in by a wedge or spike. The other is a decorated Dervish axe, both have the blade part tapering from a thick section at the hub down to the edge and are sharp. The dervish one has the reinforced metal tube thru the axes hub. The smaller one has a reinforced back to protect against torque snapping the haft on impact that serves the same purpose.

The Dervish one is mostly a display a part of their costume, but can defend them if needed. (The spike is sharp too) Some dervish axes have the labris like double bit axeheads. The Haft is quite slender, Again I suspect not meant for use against an armoured opponent, they were less likely to need one against such tho.
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Old 24th September 2019, 08:15 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
Two more of mine which are battle capable, the shorter one is from northern India, possibly Afghani, I note the head is set from below like a tomahawk, the haft swells a bit above it, unlike an axe which is set from the top and held in by a wedge or spike. The other is a decorated Dervish axe, both have the blade part tapering from a thick section at the hub down to the edge and are sharp. The dervish one has the reinforced metal tube thru the axes hub. The smaller one has a reinforced back to protect against torque snapping the haft on impact that serves the same purpose.

The Dervish one is mostly a display a part of their costume, but can defend them if needed. (The spike is sharp too) Some dervish axes have the labris like double bit axeheads. The Haft is quite slender, Again I suspect not meant for use against an armoured opponent, they were less likely to need one against such tho.


Now that lower one is interesting , what made you conclude that it was Dervish rather than Indian ?
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Old 24th September 2019, 08:25 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinreadline
Now that lower one is interesting , what made you conclude that it was Dervish rather than Indian ?


I initially thought it was Indo-Persian when I originally posted it here, then I had my mind changed by Ibrahim from

This: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=dervish

Opinion did vary a bit tho from India to the Sudan and back to the Sufi dervishes - they did get around a lot. . Heck, maybe they got their axes from trade with India. Some cool axes in that earlier thread too.

...and then there is this:
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Last edited by kronckew : 24th September 2019 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 24th September 2019, 08:54 AM   #22
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Hi Guys
IMO the last ones are battle axe and they are Indians (one is sindhi or rajasthani and the other I don't know really...).
The first one double head is again more for parade or theater.
The metal shaft is hollow and much more fragile than the thin wooden shaft of the last axe.
I'm still looking for battle double head axes...
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Old 24th September 2019, 02:02 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Hi Guys
IMO the last ones are battle axe and they are Indians (one is sindhi or rajasthani and the other I don't know really...).
The first one double head is again more for parade or theater.
The metal shaft is hollow and much more fragile than the thin wooden shaft of the last axe.
I'm still looking for battle double head axes...


You are right ... the metal haft of my smaller double headed axe is hollow ... and has clearly broken in the past as it has an old repair to reinforce it.
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Old 24th September 2019, 06:32 PM   #24
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The first 2 double headed axe quajar period I would say ceremonial they could hurt someone but would most certainly brake in a battle.next two axes single axe head and a double axe head ,look to be made in the same place,very similar design elements .the single axe is a combination weapon ,axe/gun,the two headed axe has concelled spike.Both have extended spike and somewhat sharp blade.i think both could be used as a weapon in battle.
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Old 24th September 2019, 07:06 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
I initially thought it was Indo-Persian when I originally posted it here, then I had my mind changed by Ibrahim from

This: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=dervish

Opinion did vary a bit tho from India to the Sudan and back to the Sufi dervishes - they did get around a lot. . Heck, maybe they got their axes from trade with India. Some cool axes in that earlier thread too.

...and then there is this:


Well noted Wayne, the term Dervish was broadly applied in the Sufi context. In the Sudan, the Mahdi chose to use the term 'Ansar' to refer to his warriors.

I am still looking for notes toward the use of double crescent head axes and references which directly note they were distinctly for ceremonial purpose (I think it was expressly noted in Haider.
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Old 25th September 2019, 06:27 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward F
...Both have extended spike and somewhat sharp blade.i think both could be used as a weapon in battle.


I recall a famous Roman chronicler that noted a stab from a gladius 3in. deep to the body cavity was normally fatal in battle. Depends on where I suspect. And the size of the wound. Jim Bowie was run thru the lung and out the back with a sword stick, presumably one of those with a 4 sided unedged spike one. He survived, the guy who stabbed him did not. Anyhow, those spikes if sharpened could do some damage to an un-armoured foe, as most Indian troops were, ditto on the blade. If they didn't snap off. Not too sure I'd want to risk it with one of those brassy ones with the brazed on blades.
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Old 25th September 2019, 09:30 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
I recall a famous Roman chronicler that noted a stab from a gladius 3in. deep to the body cavity was normally fatal in battle. ...
If not fatal within a minute or two, then blood loss and infection would likely do the job. Nasty weapon the gladius--it could leave a big hole.
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Old 25th September 2019, 11:51 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
If not fatal within a minute or two, then blood loss and infection would likely do the job. Nasty weapon the gladius--it could leave a big hole.

Yup, incapacitates quickly, then as they advanced, the guys behind you would stomp on their heads or give them the coup de grâce to make sure they weren't faking. 80% of the casualties usually occurred when the opponents broke and started fleeing, to be cut down from behind. The gladius on it's own was not anything special, it was the whole weapons system and tactics behind it. The man is the Weapon, the other bits are just accessories.
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Old 29th September 2019, 10:35 AM   #29
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I think I have an Indian battle double head axe.
I would say from Birkaner according on what I saw but please correct me if I.m wrong.
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