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Old 27th December 2021, 05:10 PM   #1
francantolin
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Default Qajar period ? Axe with lion head hammer

Hello and Merry Christmas Everyone !!!

I just got this axe head blade ,
it was sold as a large ethnic pendant decoration...

I cleaned it and I'll post the pictures soon,
( my gmail box is full and capricious , I took off a lot of pictures but for the moment it's over... )

do you think it's more persian or indian ? 19th century ?

can it be earlier ??

Looks like many Qajar axe blades but seems of good quality,
the engravings are really well chiseled ,
not like the acid etched drawings we often see.
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Old 27th December 2021, 05:36 PM   #2
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Beautiful axe!
To me, it looks indeed like a 19th century Qajar axe. The style of decorations also look more Persian than Mughal to me.
The only unusual part for me is the hammer side that doesn't look like anything I have seen so far.
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Old 27th December 2021, 07:36 PM   #3
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Hello,
Thank you Marius for your reply !!!

Here a first picture ''without rust''
after a 24 hours bath in a famous dark coloured sparkling drink...
the second with a light sanding 800 grain,
I think the ''princess and the rabbits feel better like that

there were inlays but almost nothing now...
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Old 27th December 2021, 07:40 PM   #4
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''the hammer'' has gold remains,

I wonder if it's really a lion...
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Old 27th December 2021, 07:42 PM   #5
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Maybe a good etching on the blade can reveal a pattern...
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Old 4th January 2022, 01:49 AM   #6
ariel
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I am wondering whether it might be ceremonial/parade rather than war axe.
The fighting ones had blades very thick close to the head and narrowing toward the edge: a "V" -like construction when the blade is viewed from above.
The thicker the basis of the blade ( to a reasonable degree) , the more powerful its splitting action.
In the book by James Douglas Gamble " Axes of war an power" there is a categorical statement : " If the blade was not V-shaped it was not war axe".
I am also somewhat perplexed by the decoration: pretty women and rabbits somehow do not associate with war ( in my mind).
Also: is the blade integral with the body of this axe? If it was attached to it by some means rather than being hammered together as a solid bloc, the mechanical integrity of the finished product would be compromised. What is your assessment of it?
Can you show the blade viewed from above?
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Old 4th January 2022, 10:03 AM   #7
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From the above photos, I'm putting my money on it being a flat blade welded to the square centre piece, as will be the 'hammer head'. The small hole for the top spear finial does not bode well, and a photo of the lower section socket might reveal a rather narrow opening for an undersized iron haft. All in all a nice parade axe, but notaweapon.


The jury is still out on my Sindh dagger axe with the elephant 'hammer' & silver decorations. Sharp axe blade IS tapered but still fairly thin where it is welded to the square centre. At least I have a dagger backup if the head falls apart after hitting someone. Would also be handy for dispatching an armoured opponent thru an eye-hole or mail. The top spike would really annoy someone if you poke them with it. Bronze elly dovetailed into the head might work against an unarmoured opponent hit in a vulnerable spot. Ball pommel might also act as a mace...(insert missing forum shrug smilie)

HERE
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Old 6th January 2022, 08:23 PM   #8
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Your " elephant" axe with a hidden dagger strongly reminds me of the Kutch Bhuj ( or Gandasa, as per Elgood): those traditionally have elephant head on the basis of the blade ( another name for them is " Elephant Axe"), and the majority ( if not all of them) a stiletto dagger screwed into the handle.

If the blade is flat, my guess would be that overall it is a Kutch parade thing.

Last edited by ariel; 6th January 2022 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 7th January 2022, 01:39 AM   #9
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Like Marius, I haven't seen this style of hammer-side before. I'm intrigued by it.

My understanding is that axes weren't used as weapons during the Qajar period. Thus most axes made then were generally decorative. Axes that were actually used would be subject to enormous force on the blade (since the blade is designed to break things, and not be broken itself) and thus were typically made in one piece, of thick metal, and very much wedge shaped. This allowed a lot of force to be concentrated in a small area.
Qajar decorative axes were made in multiple pieces, of thinner metal, and much larger than the usual war axe.

I speculate that there was a evolution over time with these decorative axes, with the block holding the front and back starting in a rounded shape more like a real axe, and ending in a very easy-to-make block shape. Also the back starting as solid metal that was split and bent into decorative shapes, then later made as a hollow model of same, and then just cut out of flat metal. To be clear, I don't know this to be true, it could have more to do with the manufacturer, but it seems pretty plausible. And that's what intrigues me about this axe; can you tell if that "lion" is solid or hollow? Is it maybe the very beginning of the transition from solid metal block to split curlicues?
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Old 7th January 2022, 04:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel View Post
I am wondering whether it might be ceremonial/parade rather than war axe.
The fighting ones had blades very thick close to the head and narrowing toward the edge: a "V" -like construction when the blade is viewed from above.
The thicker the basis of the blade ( to a reasonable degree) , the more powerful its splitting action.
In the book by James Douglas Gamble " Axes of war an power" there is a categorical statement : " If the blade was not V-shaped it was not war axe".
I am also somewhat perplexed by the decoration: pretty women and rabbits somehow do not associate with war ( in my mind).
Also: is the blade integral with the body of this axe? If it was attached to it by some means rather than being hammered together as a solid bloc, the mechanical integrity of the finished product would be compromised. What is your assessment of it?
Can you show the blade viewed from above?
Hello,
thank you all for your replies,
I agree, with all these engravings, it looks like a parade axe more than a battle model ( but I found on internet battle axes to sell with even more engravings...)

another parade model argument, the blade is not sharpened

but it is not a flat model as many indian deco model
and all seems made of one piece of steel, not assembled.
I'll put other pics.
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Old 7th January 2022, 09:20 PM   #11
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I forgot to mention the size: 19cm large for the axe blade ,
I think it would be 80cm overall or more , a large Qajar parade Tabar axe ?...

Sure not a fighting saddle axe
( even for a princess )
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Old 7th January 2022, 09:23 PM   #12
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certainly like these one with steel handle
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Old 10th January 2022, 08:18 AM   #13
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Is this maybe another axe produced for exhibition, like those tabarzin which are speculated to have been made for the Paris World Exhibition? The style and crispness of the decoration reminds me of those.
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