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Old 18th June 2019, 05:37 PM   #1
Lee
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Question Excavated Battleaxe with Integral Langets

I believe that this was made as a battleaxe on the basis that the blade seems too thin for a wood working tool (2.9 mm at 1 cm from edge, 3.95 mm where 'beard' of blade expands and 11.6 mm at neck nearest haft). The ruler in the photos is in inches and in its present state the object weighs 807 grams.

Any idea of a more specific region of origin than Europe and what century this is most suggestive of are welcomed.
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Old 18th June 2019, 07:45 PM   #2
BUCC_Guy
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The enlarged, conical socket was used on axes to some degree from the Bronze Age to the 19th century, as was combining an axe with a hammer.

However, separate and distinct langets plus holes for securing nails would suggest more of a weapon than a tool (could be used for both, of course), and the size and design leads me to think 14th-15th century, based on the nearly flat upper plane and extended beard. Previously sold, similar blades with perfectly flat tops were usually described as “Gothic axe” blades.

Any of these style blades with large proportions inevitably get marketed as “executioners axes,” so buyer beware on those.

I’ve attached a stock photo of a 15th-16th c. example with similar proportions.

I couldn’t begin to guess as to what European region it could be from.
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Old 18th June 2019, 09:34 PM   #3
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Excellent find, Lee! Is it yours? Not much to add other than that many folks misunderstand the 'hammer' end and assume only tools had these. They could, of course, be used as such, but it is my understanding that the hammer end added weight and balance to the swing (and could also leave a nice dimple in a helmet, if swung with significant force!)
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Old 20th June 2019, 01:57 AM   #4
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Thank you, Gentlemen.

BUCC_Guy, I think your illustration is surely of the same type of object, but of a clearly higher quality with the maker's mark and cut-out. I could not identify any markings on the one I presented at the top of this thread.


M Eley, Yes, I recently 're-discovered' it in the sticky (hard to open) bottom drawer of my armoury closet. I am embarassed to admit that I do not remember where or when I acquired it. I expect that it will have been at a 'gun show' in the US over 15 years ago.
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Old 20th June 2019, 10:14 AM   #5
fernando
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Red face Questions of an ignorant in the matter ...

Such an elegant shape, this axe had in its glorious days !

The fascination for the morbid, which takes the common observer to conclude that, all such large axes are beheading instruments is, in the case of this example, rejected by the existence of an "appendix" in its back side, an implement i would love to learn further in detail.
Being called a hammer, my curiosity raises two questions:To hammer ... what, in particular ? And why, being its purpose to actually hammer, is it so small, comparing its proportions with those of the actual axe; in a manner that it would be rather slippery (weight wise) to firmly sustain its blade vertically, to strike whatever object with its hammer tool ?


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Old 20th June 2019, 02:22 PM   #6
Lee
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Question Perhaps mostly for balance?

Though the hammer head is small (2.26 x 2.79 cm. in maximum cross section), I imagine that it does move the center of gravity further back towards the haft (see photo below) and that the presence of the haft might well pull the center of gravity very nearly in line with the haft. Also, even if the purpose of the axe was primarily as a weapon, in the field a small hammer would occasionally prove useful.
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Old 7th July 2019, 10:30 PM   #7
Timo Nieminen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Being called a hammer, my curiosity raises two questions:To hammer ... what, in particular ?.


Not necessarily to hammer anything. Various spikes on polearms have a lot of potential use for hooking, pulling, parrying, etc. This is easily big enough for that kind of thing.

Having it flush with the top makes it less good for this, but better for use as a striking weapon. A reasonable compromise.

As Lee wrote above, a hammer can be a very useful tool. If, however, this was a long-hafted battleaxe, it might be a rather clumsy tool, and maybe the main function of the hammer is fighting.
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Old 8th July 2019, 10:51 AM   #8
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Duly noted ... thanks .
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