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Old 28th December 2023, 09:47 PM   #1
Sajen
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Default Share your agricultural billhook

I think that when there will be enough interest by our members this could become an interesting thread.

Here is my German "hippe" which seems to have a hard life behind it.

35,5 cm overall, blade 20 cm, 11 mm thick at the spine behind the handle.
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Old 27th January 2024, 01:13 PM   #2
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Lol, so many views and nobody has to share an ethnographic billhook?
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Old 28th January 2024, 02:06 AM   #3
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Sorry Detlef. I've had lots of working modern bill hooks but never an old ethnographic one. We had an Oaxacan one that a friend brought back made from a saw blade but now I only have the Imacasa version.
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Old 28th January 2024, 10:32 AM   #4
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I don't collect these things but, we can see more than one in every other local Sunday street fair. Not new stuff ... and often marked. I will try and keep in mind to take some pictures next time i see some examples.


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Old 28th January 2024, 04:14 PM   #5
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Two garden pruners.
The first is Germany, 19th century. The second is the Soviet Union, mid-20th century, it was also included in a medical bag and was used for cutting uniforms, boots, and ammunition.
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Old 28th January 2024, 05:51 PM   #6
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Pertinax, those are not so ethno ... are they ? They look like factory made .
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Old 28th January 2024, 10:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando View Post
Pertinax, those are not so ethno ... are they ? They look like factory made .
Yes, factory ones, I apologize, I probably didn’t understand the essence of the topic correctly.
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Old 29th January 2024, 03:03 PM   #8
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Hello Fernando and Pertinax,

Thank you both! I've seen the one or other (agriculture) billhook in our main forum and was sure that it would be interesting to show them here again.
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Old 3rd February 2024, 10:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pertinax View Post
Two garden pruners.
The first is Germany, 19th century. The second is the Soviet Union, mid-20th century, it was also included in a medical bag and was used for cutting uniforms, boots, and ammunition.
The folding knife looks identical to an agricultural/gardeners pruning knife. Maybe that's what they repurposed.
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Old 18th February 2024, 11:10 AM   #10
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Here is a few in the street fair in next town. Not marked, this time.



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Old 18th February 2024, 04:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando View Post
Here is a few in the street fair in next town. Not marked, this time.
Hello Fernando,

Are these old billhooks and refurbished or new forged ones? Thank you for showing them!

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 18th February 2024, 04:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen View Post
Hello Fernando,

Are these old billhooks and refurbished or new forged ones? Thank you for showing them!

Regards,
Detlef
Certanly not new. Most probably have some age and left to rust. Then cleaned by the seller, even sharpened, for a new life.
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Old 18th February 2024, 06:23 PM   #13
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Here another example from central Germany.It has a length from about 40 cm.Together with a spoon like tool it was used for removing bark from trees.The bark was needed for tanning leather.It is said that each blacksmith in the villages had his own signs on the blades.Certainly it was made around 1900.
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Old 18th February 2024, 06:33 PM   #14
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I'm late to the game, but I've got a couple of entries. The longer 30" one is very heavy; almost .75" at the base of the spine. I think that I saw a similar example for cutting banana tree stalks.
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Old 18th February 2024, 06:33 PM   #15
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Here some pictures.Sorry the first and second is upside down.
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Old 19th February 2024, 09:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k View Post
I'm late to the game, but I've got a couple of entries. The longer 30" one is very heavy; almost .75" at the base of the spine. I think that I saw a similar example for cutting banana tree stalks.
Hello David,

Thank you for showing these nice examples. Any guesses from where they are coming?

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 19th February 2024, 09:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akanthus View Post
Here some pictures.Sorry the first and second is upside down.
Hello Akanthus,

Also to you, thanks for showing your example! Do you know where your example originated?

Regards,
Detlef
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Last edited by Sajen; 19th February 2024 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 19th February 2024, 05:45 PM   #18
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Thanks, Detlef, I was hoping that you could tell me. My short piece looks similar to your example and I noticed that the short one had a star pattern comparable to the one belonging to Ankathus.
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Old 19th February 2024, 06:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k View Post
Thanks, Detlef, I was hoping that you could tell me. My short piece looks similar to your example and I noticed that the short one had a star pattern comparable to the one belonging to Ankathus.
Hello David,

Your short one and the one from Akanthus could be European or European influenced American. The handle construction makes me think like this. Has the blade an end-to-end tang pened at top of the handle?

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 19th February 2024, 09:30 PM   #20
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Hi Detlef, yes,it's made in the area of the town of Siegen in Nordrheinwestfalen.These knifes are called " Knipp " and the owners often used it for decades and they were their personal tools.
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Old 19th February 2024, 10:37 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akanthus View Post
Hi Detlef, yes,it's made in the area of the town of Siegen in Nordrheinwestfalen.These knifes are called " Knipp " and the owners often used it for decades and they were their personal tools.
Hi Akanthus,

You live around 100 km far away from me and it seems that the people call such a sickle knife already different, I know the term "Knipp" but here it is called "Hippe"! My grandmother still used such a "Hippe" when she worked in the garden. Other terms are Heppe, Häbe, Hape, Säsle, Sesel and Gertel. Just different idioms.

Regards,
Detlef

Last edited by Sajen; 20th February 2024 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 20th February 2024, 04:49 AM   #22
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Great information; the tang goes all the way through the handle like yours. How old do you think my example is; are they still made? In this day of electric power tools, it is hard to imagine that they still are.
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Old 20th February 2024, 10:14 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k View Post
Great information; the tang goes all the way through the handle like yours. How old do you think my example is; are they still made? In this day of electric power tools, it is hard to imagine that they still are.
Hi David,

You still can buy such sickle knives new so it's difficult to say how old yours or the other shown examples are but I guess they are minimum from the mid of the last century, maybe much older. Attached are pictures of examples I found online.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 20th February 2024, 01:32 PM   #24
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Thanks for the information Detlef, those are some lethal-looking tools.
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Old 20th February 2024, 10:38 PM   #25
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This is a fabulous site about Billhooks~ https://www.billhooks.co.uk/. (I hope it's OK to link..).
An incredible collection & amount of information.

Most of my stuff is in storage right now but I've found images of some of them.
The first three images are of an old English Elwell blade I found and re handled, centre is Elwell's catalogue image. Just about every region/county in England had it's own shape of Billhook at one time, pattern's usually named after the county, the same with hammers.

Fourth & fifth image is a Portuguese style billhook that same as Fernando has shown already, many variations like it are typical of the Alentejo region, this one was used for grape vines.

Sixth images is a French Leborgne (& Elwell again), similar to Sajen's image above, I've also seen them branded Rinaldi, which I believe is Italian.
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Old 21st February 2024, 12:18 AM   #26
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The first image is a French Revex "Billhook", I use the term Billhook loosely because this french pattern can be as near the shape of a Cleaver as a Billhook as can be seen in the second image (not my hooks...). But are common in France.

The third & forth images are Spanish, these are debatable going towards sickles & long handled slashers.... thought the big pair are heavy, definitely not sickles.

Fifth & six images are of a cutter that isn't a Billhook but I'm putting it here in the faint hope someone might recognise it!
Found in Spain & stamped CARRASCO HERMANOS I've tried in vain for years to identify it, I even found an old "Carrasco brothers blacksmiths" company still in business & thought I'd solved it till after them asking all the old workers about it they told me they didn't make it..... AHH...
A harvesting tool, sharp on the edge that looks like an axe and the tip of the long chisel part, the sides of this were not sharp.
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Old 21st February 2024, 11:03 AM   #27
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Hello C4RL,

Wow, thank you very much for posting this interesting link which I think isn't against any rules.
And as well for sharing parts of your collection which you have partly very nicely restored, congrats!
And sorry but I never have seen such a tool in your last images before.

My one I bought some time ago on a German online platform, it appeals to my eyes and I remembered my childhood when grandma used a similar tool in the garden. It was very rusty, I cleaned it with steel wool and oiled the handle, the wood was very dry. I plan to sharpen the edge again.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 21st February 2024, 05:38 PM   #28
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Hello Detlef, I very much like your "Hippe" and understand the way a tool can have memories attached.
And maybe enjoy using it when you have it sharpened. 👍
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Old 24th February 2024, 06:00 PM   #29
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Hi Carl,

The last one you show is a combination tool, with an axe head and a machete blade. I saw a similar example a while back on an auction site. I think it was African in origin. According to the auction site, the machete blade was used to cut small saplings and the axe head to cut larger wood.
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Old 25th February 2024, 05:15 AM   #30
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Quote:
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Hi Carl,

The last one you show is a combination tool, with an axe head and a machete blade. I saw a similar example a while back on an auction site. I think it was African in origin. According to the auction site, the machete blade was used to cut small saplings and the axe head to cut larger wood.
Thank you for that Ian, it'd be great if you managed to find the listing.😉

The puzzling thing about it is this, the axe is sharp but the long part isn't a machete blade but more like a chisel with only the very end sharpened, both of the sides taper to the tip & are blunt.
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