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Old 4th December 2014, 11:25 AM   #1
kronckew
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Default Trade axe for comment

from an estate sale, bought it from the owner's son. just under 20in. long. great patina, blade stamped with a capital M with a 5 pt. star over. banded in metal with square headed tacks on the end of the haft. haft looks like hickory to me. the spiral pattern was a technique employed on hafts and gunstocks as well, made by wrapping a slow match around it & lighting it and letting it burn down. a final finishing and you have a spiral pattern.

note the black cockapoo hairs in the photo soon to be replaced with red fawn saluki hair. i was not charged extra for the hair. (well, i was, really, i added a donation to his dogs rescue centre when i paid him.)
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Old 4th December 2014, 08:31 PM   #2
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I DON'T COLLECT IN THIS FIELD MUCH DUE TO LACK OF KNOWLEDGE AND THE PREVALENCE OF THE MANY REPLICAS SAID TO BE OLD. HARD TO TELL MUCH FROM PICTURES BUT THIS LOOKS LIKE THE REAL ITEM TO ME JUST A GUT FEELING. PERHAPS SOMEONE WITH EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE IN THE FIELD CAN TELL YOU MORE.
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Old 4th December 2014, 09:51 PM   #3
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Nice looking 'hawk. Patina looks pretty good to me. If professionally done to deceive, the world may never know. I'd buy it anyway, if the price was right. The striping was also done by painting on a solution of sulfuric acid, and iron filings, then applying heat.
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Old 5th December 2014, 08:23 AM   #4
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according to the vendor, his dad paid about twice what i did a few decades back and loved it. i have been admonished by him not to abuse it by chopping wood. he was reluctant to part with it but wanted it to go to a good home. i assured him it would be part of my family. we shared pictures of our dogs and discussed dog rescues. like the axe, if he's a fake, he's a good one. they both give me a good feeling without any warning bells. any tomahawk with dog hairs on it can't be bad.

edited:

just arrived. nice heavy tomahawk, very sharp. head is 8 in. across, roughly 2.25 in. edge. fat tear-drop x-section haft. 1.4 lb. (647 grams).

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Old 6th December 2014, 07:28 AM   #5
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Nice looking axe. In my opinion it is a very good quality replica. The
fire polish strip work is applied rather than being of the wood. I have not found information on exactly how to do this fire work which I find fascinating. Obviously the wood is formed to a the desired shape then wrapped in or a resist is applied and baked, roasted, or toasted in hot ashes for a period of time. Then finally polished. As can be seen on this rifle.
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Old 6th December 2014, 09:43 AM   #6
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I think the fired braid work is to mimic the naturally occurring undulations of fiddleback pattern, usually found in American Maple or European Sycamore. Its often used on Kentucky rifle stocks & always for violin backs.

I think the rifle you show is probably such Tim?

Heres some examples..

linky
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Old 6th December 2014, 07:23 PM   #7
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i was recently reading an article on the striped maple. seems that while very decorative it did not serve well on weapons, especially axes/tomahawks as it had a bad habit of breaking along the dark stripes. thus a good wood, such as ash, or hickory was used and artificially striped chemically (iron & acid as mentioned earlier) or via actually scorching as i had mentioned.

this may be a modern well made custom or 'vintage' axe, or a late 19c period. {i myself eriously doubt it's an 18c one or even early 19c}. if i could trace the stamp to a mfg. or smith it would be helpful. i assume that as it was bought here by a brit originally, it may be one that never made it across the big water where it would have been used and abused and weathered.

possibly bought locally & hung in some ex-redcoat's mansion where it was looked after and kept along with his other trophies. possibly made last month. if so the maker went to an awful lot of trouble to replicate it, the steel patina and the wear patterns that have their own light patina. possibly made to spec by an avid collector, like this one i had made by a pennsylvania smith back in the late 1960's and have moved with me thru my years in the coast guard, alaska, the middle east to the UK over the last decades.

there is a guy in the US that might be able to authenticate, or at least identify it he charges a nominal fee for an email/photo series opinion, or a 25$ fee (if you send it to him & pay for it's return) for a certification of authenticity if it passes. i won't send it, but the photo route to know more may be worth the 13.
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Old 6th December 2014, 09:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
i was recently reading an article on the striped maple. seems that while very decorative it did not serve well on weapons, especially axes/tomahawks as it had a bad habit of breaking along the dark stripes. thus a good wood, such as ash, or hickory.


Indeed! Athough rarer fiddleback does occur in Ash & hickory as well, & in all species it make the wood stiffer , which can lead to breakage from sides loads or impact. {Good for pillars, not good for beams!}

The added stiffness helps the Violin sound/structure as well as being beautiful.

It great for gun stocks & is still used, but it seems to me only the last few decades some have used it for axe handles?

The chemical burning etc,. is not something I was ever aware of before this thread.
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Old 7th December 2014, 03:22 PM   #9
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This reminds me of something that happened recently. Back when I was in high school I bought a tomahawk. I used it quite a bit. It was in the back of my car when my car got caught in a flood and ended up under 13' of water, so the head was somewhat aged. Eventually I re-handled with an Osage Orange handle I made myself. About a year ago I gave it to an Absentee Shawnee young man I know. About a month ago he saw me and we got to talking. He told me he had gotten a lot of use out of the tomahawk; his brother had used it recently when butchering a deer he had killed. He told me that whenever they pulled it out to use, people assumed it was some sort of family heirloom. Admittedly, anything that I bought when I was in high school is now an antique, but still just goes to show how hard it can be to judge something's age.
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