Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > European Armoury
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 27th January 2014, 03:27 PM   #1
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default 15th to 17th C. Battle Axes From German and Swiss Armories

The hafts of most samples I have seen were of ash wood, just as is the case with long spears (pikes), but some were made of oak. By the 16th c., the blades mostly have sturdy spikes to them, often pointing to the rear.


The first complete axe attached, from the Late Gothic period, 14th-15th c., I found on the internet; it is believed to be in a Russian museum.

The second axe used to be in my own collection; it could be dated to ca. 1500, the blade and figured ashwood haft both retaining a congruent and stable old patina. The blade was deeply struck three times with a Gothic traditional blacksmith's mark, a cross with four pellets, the haft was incised with was either a letter N (for Nuremberg?) or Z (for Zürich?):
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ght=foot+combat
Overall length 119.7 cm, the blade 27.4 x 22.0 cm.


Best,
Michael
Attached Images
            

Last edited by Matchlock : 27th January 2014 at 10:01 PM.
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2014, 03:33 PM   #2
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

Albrecht Altdorfer, the famous painter belonging to the so-called Donauschule (Danube School), created the altar of St. Sebastian in St. Florian near Linz, Austria, in 1505-19; a mercenary soldier on the right is depicted with the very same type of axe as 'mine' on his shoulder (top attachments).


Next there is a line drawing based on Benedikt Tschachtlan's earliest Swiss Chronicle of 1470, and another drawn after a watercolor by Diebold Schilling from his Bern Chronicle of 1483.


Attached next is a group of foot combat axes, mid- to 2nd half 16th c., which I photographed in the former Munich Armory in the City Museum of Munich, which was sadly closed down to the public for some 20 years. Their blackened ash wood hafts conveyed the characteristic somber 'armory' atmosphere.
A fine and very similar axe, one side of the blade partly gilt, retaining its original figured haft painted red (now wormed), 2nd half 16th c., was discovered near Augsburg, Bavaria, together with other weapons of early Thirty Years War Date; one piece of printed paper found was dated 1621. The blade was struck with a maker's mark (attachment) and pierced with a short-stalked Gothic trefoil ornament (gestielter Dreipass).
As some of the guns featured Augsburg marks we may safely assume that that axe too was of local make.
All items were preserved in completely untouched condition and stowed in the false ceiling of a 15th c. house, seemingly under the pressure of an imminent conquest; all firerams were left uncleaned after firing and heavily rusted, the pyrites in the dogs of the wheellock guns completely abraded down to the jaws of the dogs!


m
Attached Images
            

Last edited by Matchlock : 27th January 2014 at 06:37 PM.
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2014, 04:45 PM   #3
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

The Historisches Museum in Bern, Switzerland, possesses an impressive number of various types of foot combat/poleaxes which were illustrated, with their measurements published by Rudof Wegeli: Inventar der Waffensammlung des Bernischen historischen Museums in Bern, Vol. III: Stangenwaffen (polearms), 1939.
Wegeli started out with two early blades, 10th-12th c., 21.3x16 cm and 16x8.7 cm, and another of 15th c. date, 17x10.5 cm (b/w attachments), before introducing the type of Swiss poleaxe called Mordaxt (murder axe), hafted in ash, branded with the initials ZB for Zeughaus (armory) Bern, and with a short vertical spike on the top.
The first hafted axe attached is 2nd half 16th c., no. 1127 in the group scan, the four-sided pole of ash wood. Two long lateral iron straps are attached to the narrow sides of both the haft and blade; one is riveted to the spike, the other bears a horizontal reinforcement. The blade is struck with the Bern city mark, a bear, and a maker's mark, a cross with four pellets, just as on the axe formerly in my collection.
Overall length 151.6 cm, weight 2.260 kg, the blade 20.5 x 12.2 cm, the spike 7.5 cm long.

An axe from that very same series, the blade struck with identical marks, the haft also branded ZB, 153 cm overall, failed to sell at Galerie Fischer's, Lucerne, on 26 May 1988, lot 9012 (see color attachment).



Have fun.

Best,
Michael
Attached Images
            
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2014, 04:48 PM   #4
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

More variants of 15th to 16th c. poleaxes in the Bern Museum, and their marks, starting with a 15th c. detached axe blade and socket.


m
Attached Images
            

Last edited by Matchlock : 27th January 2014 at 05:11 PM.
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2014, 05:18 PM   #5
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

Finally attached are images of two Swiss axes of types represented in the Bern arsenal that were in Fischer sales on Nov 24, 1976, lot 9, mid-16th c., the blade struck with an orb and cross mark, and on Sept 6, 2007, lot 60, also ca. 1540-60.

m
Attached Images
        
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th January 2014, 10:23 PM   #6
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

Mid-15th c., sold at the Dorotheum, Vienna, 26 Februar 2012.

m
Attached Images
    
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 03:17 AM   #7
machinist
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 89
Default

Wow, that was a real full meal post. It is nice to see some real battle axes as a lot of what I have seen are sort of maybe battle axes and it is hard for me to learn or form definite opinions about them. Thanks for posting.
machinist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 08:05 AM   #8
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

Thanks, Machinist,

You won't see me posting though for quite a long time as I have to return to hospital for what will probably be months.


Best,
Michael
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 08:13 AM   #9
kronckew
Member
 
kronckew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: CSA Consulate, Rm. 101, Glos. UK: p.s. - Real Dogs Have Feathering.
Posts: 2,410
Default

good luck in the krankenhaus, matchlock. hope we hear from you again soon. don't chase too many nurses. (do they serve beer there? if not, they should. )
kronckew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 09:02 AM   #10
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

Hi Kronckew,


Yup, one beer in the evening would be nice, even in a clinic, but I'm afraid they won't.
In Bavarian hospitals, doctors have grown especially worried about alcoholism among the patients. When you go there, the first thing they will do is check your blood for alcohol. If they find some remainders you're stigmatized.

Luckily, I can go without alcohol for months, I had to for more than a year of hospitalzation in 2012-13 without the slightest problem. Apart from that, every now and then friends of mine will come and see me and bring some beloved dark beer. You won't find beer in the drinks machine of an infirmary, though.

To me the hardest time will be doing without a computer - and the forum.


Best wishes to all of you,
and do keep the forum going strong!
Michael

Last edited by Matchlock : 29th January 2014 at 09:27 AM.
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 10:27 AM   #11
kronckew
Member
 
kronckew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: CSA Consulate, Rm. 101, Glos. UK: p.s. - Real Dogs Have Feathering.
Posts: 2,410
Default

i almost added that dunkel lager is good for you. my favourite here is a schwartz beer, guinness. also known as road tar schmeckt aber gut.

p.s. - they should have free wifi - it's the 21st century after all.
kronckew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 02:17 PM   #12
M ELEY
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,340
Default

Thank you, Michael, as always, for this exceptional thread on battle axes. As a collector of boarding axes and trade axes, it is always fascinating to see the battle-worthy predecessors of the hammer pole axes and fur trade items on this side of the pond. As axes did indeed go to sea, I imagine that types like these were present on the earliest vessels making their way over to the New World. I do hope your hospital stay goes well and we'll be waiting to hear from you on your return!
Mark
M ELEY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 05:48 PM   #13
VANDOO
(deceased)
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: OKLAHOMA, USA
Posts: 3,140
Smile

THANKS FOR THE EXCELLENT POST ON POLE ARMS AND AXES. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN FOND OF THEM AND HAD A SMALL HATCHET I TREASURED AS A CHILD. I ALWAYS LIKED THE AX AS A WEAPON PERHAPS A BIT OF NORSEMAN IN ME. I HOPE YOU GET THE HEALTH ISSUES ALL STRAIGHTENED OUT SOONEST AND MAKE YOUR ESCAPE FROM THE HOSPITAL ASAP. ITS TOO BAD THERE ISN'T A COMPUTER AVAILABLE AS IT WOULD SURE MAKE THE TIME PASS MORE QUICKLY AND YOU WILL BE MISSED HERE ON THE FORUM, GET WELL AND HURRY BACK.
VANDOO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 06:13 PM   #14
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 5,993
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
... don't chase too many nurses...

What else can he do ? No antique weapons, no antique beer ... only frauleins ... hopefuly young
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 06:17 PM   #15
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 5,993
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by M ELEY
... As axes did indeed go to sea, I imagine that types like these were present on the earliest vessels making their way over to the New World...

Meaning you wouldn't mind having a few the ones posted here, in your collection .
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2014, 06:22 PM   #16
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 5,993
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
... I HOPE YOU GET THE HEALTH ISSUES ALL STRAIGHTENED OUT SOONEST AND MAKE YOUR ESCAPE FROM THE HOSPITAL ASAP. ITS TOO BAD THERE ISN'T A COMPUTER AVAILABLE AS IT WOULD SURE MAKE THE TIME PASS MORE QUICKLY AND YOU WILL BE MISSED HERE ON THE FORUM, GET WELL AND HURRY BACK.

I guess Michael has already left to Hospital/s and unable to read all your hopes and wishes. But he is tough as hell and will be back with us in no time. I will try and follow up his situation.
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th August 2014, 12:40 PM   #17
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

Hi there,


I just found this booklet.

Please note that the illustration is NOT from the Late Gothic/Early Renaissance Age but was only done around 1900.

Thus it cannot be called a historic document (contemporary source of illustration; German: Bildquelle), but in fact is a historizing piece of artwork trying to picture Swiss mercenaries (German: Landsknechte), their costumes and weapons the way they most probably looked 500 years ago.
Still it is mere imagination, and of no real historic value to any serious student or scholar of arms and armor.

It is to put the record perfectly straight, for these two contraries, why I reattached the original and contemporary illustration done by Hans Burgkmair the Elder, in around 1525.

Keeping this difference in mind is important, and BASIC.

Just have a close look at the mercernaries' faces, they way are portrayed in both illustrations:

There is the cool striding 'idealized' hyper patriotic, though at the same time ridiculously proud look as cold as ice - characteristic of the super heroic self-awareness of the 19th through the early 20th centuries; remember it was exactly that state of mind which lead to dictatorships in Europe, and two World Wars.

Then, for contrast, study the weary wrinkled and mercilessly authentic portrayed face of the real, the actual old Landsknecht of the early 16th century: leaning on his footaxe, his right hand barely, and with no strength any more!, touching the grip of his Katzbalger - making us feel the burden of freedom (Kris Kristofferson!) too heavy for his shoulders, and his heart. He is completely consumpted, exhausted from his job: his hard life full of fights and wars finally brought him down. Imagine his body covered with scars - scars are lasting memories; nobody and nothing can ever erase, or heal them. They will be right there on his body, in his mind, in his soul, and in his heart. Until death will rescue, and save him.
The truth is that this mercenary is the personified and cruel outcome of what war is.
He is a winner, and he has proved it - by surviving.

Winners got scars, too - the title of the biography of Johnny Cash, by Christopher S. Wren.

This faded and torn paperback of 1971 has accompanied, and followed me.
Almost everywhere I went, or tried to go.
It's has been on my desk, and on my mind, and it has lived like a song in my soul.
Just like John's and Kris's songs.
For more than 40 years.
My left hand is resting on this book.

Right now.
It soothes the tremor.

And Kris's wonderful album Closer to the Bone of 2009 is on my HiFi system.


Please think about, and feel, the responsibility that all of us have - interested in, and living with/collecting historic arms.
ARMS ARE A HEAVY BURDEN, for reminding us of the real 'nature' of the greedy inhuman humans that we are, the self-acclaimed 'crown of creation' - though humble we should be.



Best as ever,

Michael Trömner
Rebenstr. 9
D-93326 Abensberg
Lower Bavaria, Germany
  • Self-established Academic Medievalist
  • Graduated from Regensburg University in 1982
  • Stipendiary recipient and Member of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, Bonn
  • Author of BEHÄLTNISSE FÜR KOSTBARES 1500-1700, Verden, 2005
  • Member of vikingsword.com, with more than 4.100 threads and posts since 2008
  • M. of the Arms & Armour Society, London since 1991 M. of the Gesellschaft für Historische Waffen- und Kostümkunde e.V., Berlin since 1987
  • Expertises in European weapons, ironworks and furniture of the 14th through 17th centuries
  • Preservation and scientific documentation of museum collections
  • Mediävist, Redakteur und Fachjournalist
  • Staatsexamen Universität Regensburg, 1982
  • Stipendiat und Mitglied der Hochbegabtenförderung Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, Bonn
  • Testredakteur bei STEREO, HIFI exklusiv und FonoForum 1979-1984
  • Autor der Monographie BEHÄLTNISSE FÜR KOSTBARES 1500-1700, Verden, 2005
  • Mitglied von vikingsword.com mit über 4.100 wiss. Publikationen seit 2008
  • M. Arms & Armour Society, London, seit 1991
  • M. Gesellschaft für Historische Waffen- und Kostümkunde e.V., Berlin, seit 1987
  • Sachverständiger für Waffen, Eisenarbeiten und Möbel des 14. bis 17. Jhs.
  • Konservierung, Inventarisierung und wissenschaftliche Dokumentation musealer Sammlungen

Attached Images
      

Last edited by Matchlock : 27th August 2014 at 07:23 PM.
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th August 2014, 11:11 PM   #18
S.Workman
Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 116
Default

Just have a close look at the mercernaries' faces, they way are portrayed in both illustrations:

There is the cool striding 'idealized' hyper patriotic, though at the same time ridiculously proud look as cold as ice - characteristic of the super heroic self-awareness of the 19th through the early 20th centuries; remember it was exactly that state of mind which lead to dictatorships in Europe, and two World Wars.

[/size][/font]Then, for contrast, study the weary wrinkled and mercilessly authentic portrayed face of the real, the actual old Landsknecht of the early 16th century: leaning on his footaxe, his right hand barely, and with no strength any more!, touching the grip of his Katzbalger - making us feel the burden of freedom (Kris Kristofferson!) too heavy for his shoulders, and his heart. He is completely consumpted, [font=Georgia][size=3]exhausted from his job: his hard life full of fights and wars finally brought him down. Imagine his body covered with scars - scars are lasting memories; nobody and nothing can ever erase, or heal them. They will be right there on his body, in his mind, in his soul, and in his heart. Until death will rescue, and save him.
The truth is that this mercenary is the personified and cruel outcome of what war is.
He is a winner, and he has proved it - by surviving.

These axes are cool, this post is great, and this is a hell of an observation. If you don't mind my asking, what health problem do you have that is putting you on the skids? Sorry for the weird appearance of this post, the quote feature is not a huge fan of highlighted material. Or maybe I am just confused.
S.Workman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th August 2014, 03:32 AM   #19
Shakethetrees
Member
 
Shakethetrees's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 364
Default Early battle or executioner's axe

I got this about twenty five years ago in Normandy, in a small town I cannot remember as I was just passing through on a day trip from Paris.

It is inscribed "YL" or "VL", and is a little over 19 inches along the top from the edge to the heel, and is 15 inches from the heel to the butt of the haft, which appears to be oak and full of worm holes.

The haft, or what's left of it, is loose in the socket. It is roughly pentagonal at the socket.

The form appears to be very old, but I am interested in hearing what everyone has to say.
Attached Images
 
Shakethetrees is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th August 2014, 06:18 AM   #20
kronckew
Member
 
kronckew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: CSA Consulate, Rm. 101, Glos. UK: p.s. - Real Dogs Have Feathering.
Posts: 2,410
Default

haft is a tad short for an executioner's axe

(i suspect it was a teeny bit longer in it's working life)

there is a very similar one on ebay at the moment. haftless. marked "AD" on one side, "CP" on the other. sadly we cannot discuss it, so no picture. try googleing images for 'executioners axe'.

here's another. hired him for my quickie divorce. a lot cheaper than going thru the courts as henry the 8th found.
Attached Images
 
kronckew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th August 2014, 10:28 AM   #21
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakethetrees
I got this about twenty five years ago in Normandy, in a small town I cannot remember as I was just passing through on a day trip from Paris.

It is inscribed "YL" or "VL", and is a little over 19 inches along the top from the edge to the heel, and is 15 inches from the heel to the butt of the haft, which appears to be oak and full of worm holes.

The haft, or what's left of it, is loose in the socket. It is roughly pentagonal at the socket.

The form appears to be very old, but I am interested in hearing what everyone has to say.

Hi Shakethetress,


You sure shook - no; not just the trees: YOU shook the WOODS, the very moment you spotted and acquired that fine battle axe, manufactured within the (then) borders of the Germanic areas (German: in den deutschen Sprachgebieten) during the High Gothic period, 13th to early 14th century!
For its Viking stylistic formal predecessor, please cf.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_axe
(the one on top - see attachment).

This item is of a very rare and elegantly wrought type mostly, and wrongly, just termed a 'beheading axe' in English; it was far more than that, though - both actually and originally. Most of all it. was a battle axe, made for the fight, and meant for the killing - when it all came down, when it was man to man, face to face, axe to ... whatsoever.

CONGRATULATIONS, you made it!
It has been, and will be yours - for decades.
It belonged to generations before our time, for about 700 years, and it will belong to somebody else after it being with you.
All that collectors can ever be is just curators -
for a moment in time, which is our lives.

So we should be glad, and responsible, for being granted that chance.

T
he worst kind of curators like us will turn out to be the actual and final caretakers! of those soulless but innocent items.
We can literally rape them, acid-celan them, ruine them, dematerialize them, finalize them.
Just because we can.
Just because we think that they are ours.
They are not.
They belong to the universal cultual heritage of mankind.



If you feel that what is still left of an originally much longer haft may have been with the head for a very long span of time, leave it as it is, or lengthen it.
The original wood should be either ash or oak, and you should use the very same type.

You can make it whole again.
You can heal it.
You both earned it, the axe and you.


And please do send as good and detailed photos of that item as you can take. If you wish to, just send them privately.
I'm looking forward to seeing them.

I will also search for images of actuallc comparable axe heads but they are very rare to find.

All I can do for the moment being are two attachments concerning one of its typological and stylistic followers, dating to the Latest Gothic period of ca. 1500; that item was sold with Hermann Historica's, Munich, 19 October 2005.
That head, of course, was in a state of excavation, crudely cleaned and overpolished.
Nothing I would never even consider to touch.


Best as ever,
Michael
Attached Images
   

Last edited by Matchlock : 28th August 2014 at 04:21 PM.
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th August 2014, 01:28 PM   #22
Shakethetrees
Member
 
Shakethetrees's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 364
Default

I have thought about re-halting this axe for some time, but I have never settled on any particular form.

I've seen dozens of later axes with their hafts that can have a slight downward drop to the pommel, but I think these are later and somehow wouldn't be appropriate. And, I also suspect a lot are replacements.

A lot of old illustrations from later periods are a little vague on this detail.

So, any assistance is appreciated. I will post images once the project has been completed.

I believe the existing wood is maybe 200 years old. It is not secure in the socket, and, while without a doubt it was hand cut, it just looks too fresh to be as old as the head.
Shakethetrees is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th August 2014, 04:26 PM   #23
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
haft is a tad short for an executioner's axe

(i suspect it was a teeny bit longer in it's working life)

there is a very similar one on ebay at the moment. haftless. marked "AD" on one side, "CP" on the other. sadly we cannot discuss it, so no picture. try googleing images for 'executioners axe'.

here's another. hired him for my quickie divorce. a lot cheaper than going thru the courts as henry the 8th found.



Exactly, but it is much too short for a battle axe, or a working man's tool as well.
I guess we realize that it is not the first, original haft; the proportions should, of course, be about equal to the axe that used to be mine - see opening post of this thread, and attachment here.

The length of the original haft of that fine axe was, of course, about equal to the overall length of that item, which was 119.7.cm.


m
Attached Images
    

Last edited by Matchlock : 28th August 2014 at 04:41 PM.
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2014, 01:17 AM   #24
drac2k
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 518
Default

I've had this hatchet for a while: I always thought it was just a wood working ax, mainly because of the "cross," slot in the front, which I thought was for pulling out nails, but I saw a similar provision on some of the pictured battle axes.I also thought that because the back of the hatchet was flat , it couldn't be used for battle, but once again some of the pictured ones were also flat.
Can someone confirm that this is indeed a wood working ax ?
Attached Images
            
drac2k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2014, 03:48 AM   #25
estcrh
Member
 
estcrh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,484
Send a message via AIM to estcrh
Default

Great information on European weapons as usual. I have had a question about a particular axe since I first saw it, the owner says that it is a "Frankish axe" oak shaft 31.5", axe head 6.5" x 4.75", overall length 33.5", 6 lbs, I have not had much luck finding a similar one, any chance that this is any were near a correct description or even a type of axe that would have been used in battle? Any help would be appreciated.
Attached Images
 
estcrh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2014, 05:17 AM   #26
kronckew
Member
 
kronckew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: CSA Consulate, Rm. 101, Glos. UK: p.s. - Real Dogs Have Feathering.
Posts: 2,410
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k
...
Can someone confirm that this is indeed a wood working ax ?



nope. tho it could be used as such.

many soldiers battle axes were not only used as weapons, but as general tools around the camp. chopping wood, making defences, etc. the flat (or a poll) would be useful for driving in tent stakes, as well as for, as in agincourt, driving angled anti-cavalry stakes in front of archers. some of the designs were purely weapons of course, for the higher ranks i suspect.

soldiers hate carrying stuff they don't need, so why carry a tool axe AND a weapon-only axe if you do not have to. of course if you had a horse, you could have it carry & you'd likely have a groom or squire that would have a more general purpose axe. fixed defences like castles and walled cities also could have armouries with heavier more flamboyant non-tool axes. militia, and/or the levy of cannon fodder poorly trained troops would likely bring the axe or bill hook they used daily at home.

i doubt the cross was used as a nail-puller. more of a decoration.

woodworking axes tended to be well bearded, with enough room behind the beard to allow the hand to be choked up well behind the blade, for finer control. they of course could also be used as weapons.

carpenter's hewing axes can have the blade offset to one side or the other, off centre, chisel ground, to allow for easier squaring of the cuts when making square beams. less likely to be used as a weapon. sometimes even the handles are offset to the head to allow hand clearance when hewing the sides of larger objects while still presenting the edge parallel to the object...

anyhow, yours looks more like a general purpose weapon, an archer's axe or infantryman's. the handle looks a bit short & doesn't quite fit the head. i think it's a later replacement.
kronckew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2014, 05:33 AM   #27
kronckew
Member
 
kronckew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: CSA Consulate, Rm. 101, Glos. UK: p.s. - Real Dogs Have Feathering.
Posts: 2,410
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
Great information on European weapons as usual. I have had a question about a particular axe since I first saw it, the owner says that it is a "Frankish axe" oak shaft 31.5", axe head 6.5" x 4.75", overall length 33.5", 6 lbs, I have not had much luck finding a similar one, any chance that this is any were near a correct description or even a type of axe that would have been used in battle? Any help would be appreciated.



first impression is that it looks more like a horseman's axe to me, persia/india. doesn't look frankish (french) to me. could be wrong tho.

are you sure it's 6 lbs. (2.7 kilos) seems a lot.
kronckew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2014, 08:33 AM   #28
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k
I've had this hatchet for a while: I always thought it was just a wood working ax, mainly because of the "cross," slot in the front, which I thought was for pulling out nails, but I saw a similar provision on some of the pictured battle axes.I also thought that because the back of the hatchet was flat , it couldn't be used for battle, but once again some of the pictured ones were also flat.
Can someone confirm that this is indeed a wood working ax ?

Hi there,

The haft of that axe is 99 per cent ashwood, as it is, like I said in my opening post, the longest lasting because longest-fibered and consequently most durable, type of wood.
Next to it comes oak.

Experience, though, has taught me over four decades that ash was the preferred sort of wood used for hafted weapons in the Germanic areas, and from the 13th through 17th centuries.
As closely as possible, I have researched what must have been thousands of 13th-17th century hafted weapons, in hundreds of museums and private collections, plus previewings of items with the most important international auction houses, and after taking more than 280,000 analog photos.

For more information, and for important and finely preserved arms in
The Michael Trömner Collection

please also cf. my threads:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ght=pikes+swiss

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...highlight=pikes

In some very rare cases, ash was even used for stocking wall guns in the early 16th century - instead of oak.

Please see my threads:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...varian+kronburg

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...varian+kronburg



Best,
Michael Trömner

Last edited by Matchlock : 29th August 2014 at 08:47 AM.
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2014, 10:30 AM   #29
estcrh
Member
 
estcrh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,484
Send a message via AIM to estcrh
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
first impression is that it looks more like a horseman's axe to me, persia/india. doesn't look frankish (french) to me. could be wrong tho.

are you sure it's 6 lbs. (2.7 kilos) seems a lot.

Thanks for the reply, I have to take the word of the owner about the weight, I have looked for other "Frankish" axe but can not find one that is verifiable, it does have a little similarity with some Indo-Persian axe I have seen but not enough to call it that in my opinion, I will keep looking.
estcrh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2014, 11:10 AM   #30
kronckew
Member
 
kronckew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: CSA Consulate, Rm. 101, Glos. UK: p.s. - Real Dogs Have Feathering.
Posts: 2,410
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
Thanks for the reply, I have to take the word of the owner about the weight, I have looked for other "Frankish" axe but can not find one that is verifiable, it does have a little similarity with some Indo-Persian axe I have seen but not enough to call it that in my opinion, I will keep looking.


googleing, found this indo-persian one, 30" haft, reminds me of your posted one...
Attached Images
 
kronckew is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 01:12 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.