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Old 14th May 2011, 10:30 AM   #1
Atlantia
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Default Small axes for ID

Picked these up today.
Pretty sure they are a weapon form and not a tool this time! (despite their hammer backs)
Sizes as shown by compasion with my ancient mobile, rather small. Very sharp and well aged.
Punched dot decoration, similar but not a pair.
Shafts are clearly old but not original.
The decoration is in the form of flowers in a vase on both!
Managed to get the head off of the small one, it weighs about 350g.
Any ideas?
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Last edited by Atlantia : 14th May 2011 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 14th May 2011, 10:54 AM   #2
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Obviously first thought was Indian, but.......
The closest things I can find is this one in Stones, described as:
"Ceylon or Malabar XVIII"
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Old 14th May 2011, 05:35 PM   #3
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Default Indian Axes

Hard to put them geographically, perhaps Central Indian (Deccan?) going toward the South as you have already stated.

The punch dot decoration tells me victorian (late 19thC) and the 'flowers in a vase' decoration supports that, but the axes themselves look older.

Good find.

Thanks,
Runjeet
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Old 14th May 2011, 05:43 PM   #4
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Having a think, and I would perhaps edge towards Deccan and the north rather than the south for your two axes. This form and shape of axe head is quite common throughout India, and I think Stone was referring more (although not exactly) to this type:


Thanks,
Runjeet

Last edited by Rick : 17th May 2011 at 01:18 AM. Reason: commercial link included; please upload pics only.
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Old 14th May 2011, 06:17 PM   #5
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They look great. How long are the shafts? Cheers
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Old 14th May 2011, 06:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runjeet@akaalarms.com
Having a think, and I would perhaps edge towards Deccan and the north rather than the south for your two axes. This form and shape of axe head is quite common throughout India, and I think Stone was referring more (although not exactly) to this type:


Thanks,
Runjeet



Runjeet,

Thanks for your help. Very much appreciated
Would these be classed as saddle axes or something else?

Best
Gene

Last edited by Rick : 17th May 2011 at 01:17 AM. Reason: sorry, these must be uploaded directly w/out comm'l link
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Old 14th May 2011, 06:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DhaDha
They look great. How long are the shafts? Cheers



Hi DhaDha,

At the moment the shafts are a piddly 16 1/2 inches.

Thanks for preempting my next question, What sort of shaft would suit them? Shape, length etc?

I was thinking, more like 20inches?

Best
Gene
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Old 14th May 2011, 06:50 PM   #8
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Here's one with a small head and a longer shaft from Runjeet's site. 27", if I remember? Love the simple design.
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Old 14th May 2011, 06:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DhaDha
Here's one with a small head and a longer shaft from Runjeet's site. 27", if I remember? Love the simple design.


OOh! 27"!!
I feel a couple of hickory tool shafts might be in order.......
Thanks
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Old 14th May 2011, 09:34 PM   #10
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DhaDha,
You have a great memory! I had forgot about that one, yeah it was a nice piece, very elegant. I cannot remember the exact dimensions but 27" works out close to the proportions in the photos.

Gene,
Here is the full image if you want to get a better idea of the detail on the shaft. Thanks both,
Runjeet

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Old 14th May 2011, 09:48 PM   #11
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I must visit my own site more regularly .....the small axe which DhaDha reminded us of is on page two of the Armour and Polearms page, along with another one Gene which you may find interesting.


Thanks,
Runjeet

Last edited by Rick : 17th May 2011 at 01:20 AM. Reason: deleted; commercial link; upload pictures to site please .
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Old 15th May 2011, 06:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runjeet@akaalarms.com
I must visit my own site more regularly .....the small axe which DhaDha reminded us of is on page two of the Armour and Polearms page, along with another one Gene which you may find interesting.


Thanks,
Runjeet




Hi Runjeet,

Thanks for that, I've got a good idea of what to aim for now.
Just had a look on a certain auction site and there are plenty of 4'-5' o Staffs in a variety of wood, that should make a good pair of shafts for these.

Thanks again.
Best
Gene

Last edited by Rick : 17th May 2011 at 01:22 AM. Reason: commercial link deleted; please upload pictures only .
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Old 15th May 2011, 08:17 AM   #13
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Default Musandam Axes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantia
Hi Runjeet,

Thanks for that, I've got a good idea of what to aim for now.
Just had a look on a certain auction site and there are plenty of 4'-5' o Staffs in a variety of wood, that should make a good pair of shafts for these.

Thanks again.
Best
Gene

Nice axes you have. I collect arabian axes from the Mussandam peninsular, at the gateway to the Gulf. The tribal group there (Shihuh) have an axe which doubles up as a walking stick utility item/defensive weapon and badge of office icon. It appears to originate from the Persian Luristani axe. The shaft almost 3 feet long and various sizes of axehead from about 2 inches long to about 3 and a half.
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Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 15th May 2011 at 08:18 AM. Reason: rewording
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Old 15th May 2011, 11:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Nice axes you have. I collect arabian axes from the Mussandam peninsular, at the gateway to the Gulf. The tribal group there (Shihuh) have an axe which doubles up as a walking stick utility item/defensive weapon and badge of office icon. It appears to originate from the Persian Luristani axe. The shaft almost 3 feet long and various sizes of axehead from about 2 inches long to about 3 and a half.


Hi Ibrahiim,

Very impressive collection you've got there!
Interesting that one of yours has a very similarly shaped distinctive 'hammer' back to the ones on mine (below)

Best
Gene
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Last edited by Atlantia : 15th May 2011 at 11:23 AM. Reason: EDIT: Just looked at the close-up! Boy do they need a clean up.
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Old 15th May 2011, 04:48 PM   #15
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These are European. East European. Hungarian/Romanian or other east European herders weapon tools.
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Old 15th May 2011, 05:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Simmons
These are European. East European. Hungarian/Romanian or other east European herders weapon tools.


C'mon Tim

European is OK, but herders weapons!!!


Do you have any references or examples?

Best
Gene
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Old 15th May 2011, 05:29 PM   #17
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The stippled decoration on the axe face, I agree with Runjeet, does seem to correspond to this kind of decoration in India in later period, 19th century. It should be noted that it is also a characteristic of markings on the weapons in Bikaner armoury in Rajasthan, which simply reveals that the punched dot style for decoration and inscription was popular in these regions....I am not suggesting these are from Bikaner, nor armoury applied, only the style of decoration.

I recall seeing the small head, long shaft type utilitarian walking axes that Tim has mentioned for Eastern European regions, as well as similar as mentioned by Ibrahim on the Arabian peninsula.

While serving as walking staffs these certainly would double as weapons much in the sense of the well known sword canes of Europe....so you're right Gene, I think you got a weapon here I think shorter shafts would simply indicate more of a belt axe.

All best regards,
Jim
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Old 15th May 2011, 05:30 PM   #18
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The tulip motif seen here is a very standard decorative pattern on Hungarian and Romania "folk art" these look like very nice old pieces. Rural folk would have decorated items like this to chop wood and hammer things way before B&Q DIY stores. I do not have pictures of the very same axes but lots of pictures showing the style and decorative devises used to decorate and make jolly all sorts of domestic items. Folk art is very sought after.
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Old 15th May 2011, 05:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Simmons
The tulip motif seen here is a very standard decorative pattern on Hungarian and Romania "folk art" these look like very nice old pieces. Rural folk would have decorated items like this to chop wood and hammer things way before B&Q DIY stores. I do not have pictures of the very same axes but lots of pictures showing the style and decorative devises used to decorate and make jolly all sorts of domestic items. Folk art is very sought after.



The tulip motif is a highly favored Ottoman device which was favored as well in earlier Mughal courts, but the tulip rage in the 17th century certainly carried influences from the Netherlands far across Europe, and as noted was key in folk art context in Eastern Europe. Im not sure whether that would be connected in any way, but the tulip as motif was definitely widespread and notable.
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Old 15th May 2011, 05:46 PM   #20
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Would it be useful if I cleaned one up to show clearer pictures?

Thanks everyone


Jim, the short shafts on them are rubbish, clearly been on them for a while, but nowhere near as old as the axes.

I scoured the car boot sales today for vintage gardening tools and got two 40+ year old long handled Hoes with beautiful straight grained shafts.
Both 4'+ long

Which will be good if we can 100% positively ID these so I can remake the correct shafts.
They are so distinctive with the punched decoration and octagonal to circular hammer backs.
Both are very similar but different, so I'd venture that they may well be representative of a specific ethnographic type, rather than possibly just an atypical pair.
Interestingly, one has dot decoration all across the face of the hammer and around it randomly 'peppering' the surface.
So I'd guess that at least the hammer part is not meant to be used as a tool?

Last edited by Atlantia : 15th May 2011 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 15th May 2011, 06:43 PM   #21
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You have not shown the handles. Here are a few pictures of Hungarian folk art. I could add lots more. Agreed the tulip is also seen on Ottoman artefacts but I do not think what we have here is the case.
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Old 15th May 2011, 07:31 PM   #22
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Hi Tim,

The handles at the moment are just short bits of plain wood roughly fitted.
Completely wrong.

Best
Gene
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Old 15th May 2011, 07:41 PM   #23
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This picture looks like the original handle. A household kindling cutting axe with a hammer might only have a simple handle. I think you can buy a hammer axe DIY thing today but nowhere near as pretty or treasured in a non global consumerist society.
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Old 15th May 2011, 08:57 PM   #24
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Hopefully some better pics (Now I've cleaned them) will be helpful?

I was going to scrub them, but the patina is so deep and dark and old.
It almost seems wrong to take them back to silver metal?
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Old 15th May 2011, 09:01 PM   #25
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Very nice.
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Old 15th May 2011, 09:04 PM   #26
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And the shafts (they come off fairly easily and really easily)
One has 'X' wedges, the other nothing.
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Old 15th May 2011, 09:11 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Simmons
Very nice.



Thanks mate

You see what I mean though, these are SO distinctive that they have to be a distinct recognisable ethnographic type.

Truth is, I'll be gutted if they are a household item (kindling axe!!)!



Best
Gene
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Old 15th May 2011, 09:19 PM   #28
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Yes Hungarian. Whats wrong with that .
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Old 15th May 2011, 10:17 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Simmons
Yes Hungarian. Whats wrong with that .



I can see the possibility of Eastern European, but I'm struggling to see them as mere 'utility' axes.
My reasoning:
The shape of the cutting edge and narrowness of the blade doesn't make for good kindling splitting.
The smaller of the two doesn't even have a cutting edge thats parallel to the shaft (see pic below)
Despite the simplicity of the punched decoration, these are quite an elaborate piece of metalworking, far more than I would expect from a ulitity piece.

I don't know, perhaps I just hope that you are wrong on that and they are 'battle axes'.

Best
Gene
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Old 16th May 2011, 07:30 AM   #30
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I can see no reason why you could not seriously hurt a person with one.
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