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Old 7th May 2006, 06:01 AM   #1
TVV
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Default bullova for comment

Not my main area of intereset, but the bidding was low and I picked it up from eBay. According to the seller the shaft is a replacement and he is most probably right. The blade was heavily patinated and even appeared as bronze, but it is all steel - head and socket. I would guess 19th century, a simple fighting axe.



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Old 7th May 2006, 11:51 PM   #2
Jim McDougall
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Hi TVV,
Very nice!!
It is most certainly a rehafted example of what appears to be a war axe of the Khonds, one of the aboriginal tribes of Chota Nagpur (according to Egerton, 1880, pp.74-75, these tribes found on borders of Cuttack and Ganjora *). In his venerable book, Egerton illustrates one of these in group I , fig. #41.
In Stone, an example like yours is shown in fig.199 (#10) and included among examples of these Chota Nagpur war axes collectively known as 'bullova'.
According to author James Gamble ("Battle Axes", 1981, p.52-54), the battle variations of these Khond axes were only used until around the 1880's. The early examples after 1800 typically had metal shafts which were decorated in the same manner as the head. The early blades were rivetted to the tang, with later examples forged as a single piece. Egerton also notes these fierce tribes, known for particularly gruesome sacrifices known as 'meriah', also used thier axes for hunting wild animals, bear in particular. He notes that they used an axe with short haft and large blade, calling it a 'tungi', but it is unclear whether this would be in that category.

Your example seems to have good age to the blade, and clearly the haft is a replacement, but looks very nicely done. Very nice acquisition
* According to Brittanica, this tribe is situated in the Orissa and Ganjam district of Madras, per "Tribes and Castes of Central India" E.Thurston (1915)


All best regards,
Jim
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Old 8th May 2006, 04:39 AM   #3
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Jim,
Thanks for your reply, full of information as usual. I ordered Egerton's book, which is something I should have done a long time ago. Gamble's book also seems like a great resource, so I would try to get it too.
Regards,
Teodor
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Old 8th May 2006, 07:37 PM   #4
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Nice axe TVV!

Great explanation as ever Jim!

I also think that it is rehafted and the hilt looks verry awkward. It seems that it is from a modern lumberjack axe and that it has been repainted black. Also a part of the tang was painted.

Well, talking about bullovas, that was on ebay not so long ago and it is gorgeous. A similar example is pictured in Gamble's book stating that it is a 1750 piece.

TVV, I'm also in the search of Gambles book. If you find it please give me a hint.
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Old 8th May 2006, 09:09 PM   #5
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Thanks very much for the kind words guys! I'm glad Teodor posted this as it was fun learning something about these familiar, yet very curious axes. It seems the axes have usually been kind of an esoteric sector of arms collecting, evidenced by the lack of detailed information seen in most published arms literature.
All the best,
Jim
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Old 8th May 2006, 10:48 PM   #6
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Valjhun,
I always check on Bookfinder.com for the books I need. Here is a search on "Gamble" as "author" and "axes" as "title":

http://www.bookfinder.com/search/?a...sic&st=sr&ac=qr

It appears that James Douglas Gamble has several books, and I have no idea if "Battle Axes" and "Axes of War and Power" are similar in content. I beleive that the picture you have posted is from "Axes of War and Power". It is also the much cheaper one, as you can see.

I completely agree with you on the lumberjack hilt. However, the tang (or is socket a more appropriate term?) is not painted at all, it just comes out darker in the pictures. It is steel, the same patination as the rest of the piece. There is some simple engraving on it, most probably for decoration.

Regards,
Teodor
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Old 29th May 2006, 08:49 PM   #7
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Thanks Teodor for your kindness.

Another one scored on ebay, what do you think about that piece?

66320147726632014772

I'm fascinated by bullovas and I do not even know whay. Another tremendous piece... what do you think?
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Old 29th May 2006, 10:03 PM   #8
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Hi all.
Very nice Bullova TVV. Yours seems to be like mine, a real fighter. I'm not sure if mine has a replacement hilt as well. The other Bullovas pictured in this thread are gorgeous. I think mine is more of village quality if that is the correct term.
I can see that Bullovas would be lots of fun to collect. They come in several different styles. The simple ones can still be had cheap.
Stephen*





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Old 30th May 2006, 12:17 AM   #9
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Valjhun: I am no expert on bullovas, all I have is my rather plain example, but I can confidently agree with you that the one that closed earlier today on eBay was a gorgeous piece. Of course, it also has its original haft with brass mountings and I especially like the small spike on top.
Stephen: nice axe. I think the haft on yours may well be an authentic one. Even if it is a replacement, it appears to have been made in Chota Nagpur some time ago. Bamboo (it appears to be bamboo) is a good, tough enough material for hafts which was used in India and SE Asia, and it makes perfect sense to be the wood of choice for a simple warrior's weapon. Mine and yours bullovas perhaps never belonged to a chief, but they most certainly saw some serious use and were a treasured possession of people, who counted on them for their survival.
I guess this is what makes bullovas so fascinating - they are clearly made for the purpose of battle, unlike so many other types of axes which had utalitarian or ceremonial purposes.
Now here is another bulova that closed on eBay recently, but for some reason I did not quite like it. I cannot explain it but something about it feels wrong. What do you guys think?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...item=6631832279
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Old 30th May 2006, 07:51 AM   #10
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It looks verry strange, like most of other things he was selling. Casting perhaps?
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Old 30th May 2006, 08:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valjhun
It looks verry strange, like most of other things he was selling. Casting perhaps?


I also noticed that most of the items offered by this seller looked as coming from the same shop and were all of very poor workmanship. This, combined with the sudden abundance of such items in his or her inventory cannot help but raise suspicions. Not to mention that despite their diversity - axes, lances, daggers, katars, from Persia to Chota Nagpur - they all looked very similar in terms of materials and finishing. I have a feeling we are about to see a lot more of them in the future. Unfortunately.
Of course, I am not stating anything, but just expressing a suspicion.
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