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Joe A




Location: Philadelphia, USA
Joined: 17 Oct 2013

Posts: 61

PostPosted: Mon 21 Mar, 2016 9:29 pm    Post subject: Can Anyone Tell Me About This Axe?         Reply with quote

A friend of mine sent me pictures of this axe and asked if I knew what type it was. It seems to have a patina which is unusual for the shape. We don't have any other information except it was found recently in the basement of a house in Philadelphia, PA.

Thanks




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Cornelius Engelhardt





Joined: 27 Feb 2006

Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2016 12:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi!

This isn't an antique. It's a decoration piece.
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Håvard Kongsrud




Location: Norge
Joined: 10 Mar 2015
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 59

PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2016 12:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Are there any traces of mould lines? What size and weight is it? The blade looks like a distorted version of a Jan Petersen type B, And Aslak Liestøl 1976 type f, but the shape of the eye region points to the medieval or early modern period or later in a nordic context. Could one hazard a guess that it is a copper alloy cast from an original heavily corroded axe, abrased and polished before beeing left in a moist place for too long?
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Joe A




Location: Philadelphia, USA
Joined: 17 Oct 2013

Posts: 61

PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2016 6:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cornelius Engelhardt wrote:
Hi!

This isn't an antique. It's a decoration piece.


Do you mean something like a souvenir?
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Joe A




Location: Philadelphia, USA
Joined: 17 Oct 2013

Posts: 61

PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2016 6:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Håvard Kongsrud wrote:
Are there any traces of mould lines? What size and weight is it? The blade looks like a distorted version of a Jan Petersen type B, And Aslak Liestøl 1976 type f, but the shape of the eye region points to the medieval or early modern period or later in a nordic context. Could one hazard a guess that it is a copper alloy cast from an original heavily corroded axe, abrased and polished before beeing left in a moist place for too long?


We will check for mould lines.

If the piece is common yellow brass with an artificial patina then it's probably just an artistic reproduction. Why it was made will remain a mystery.

If the metal is historic bronze (copper/tin), the patina real and the wood as old as it appears then it may be an antique.
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James Arlen Gillaspie
Industry Professional



Location: upstate NY
Joined: 10 Nov 2005

Posts: 529

PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2016 9:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It may have also been made for a special purpose, like those tools made of bronze and copper mallets that won't spark when striking in an environment with explosive dust.
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Håvard Kongsrud




Location: Norge
Joined: 10 Mar 2015
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 59

PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2016 9:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe A wrote:
Håvard Kongsrud wrote:
Are there any traces of mould lines? What size and weight is it? The blade looks like a distorted version of a Jan Petersen type B, And Aslak Liestøl 1976 type f, but the shape of the eye region points to the medieval or early modern period or later in a nordic context. Could one hazard a guess that it is a copper alloy cast from an original heavily corroded axe, abrased and polished before beeing left in a moist place for too long?


We will check for mould lines.

If the piece is common yellow brass with an artificial patina then it's probably just an artistic reproduction. Why it was made will remain a mystery.

If the metal is historic bronze (copper/tin), the patina real and the wood as old as it appears then it may be an antique.


I just saw the other images linked to, and I must say the axe head do have som ugly grinding marks where the mould line would have been. I'm with Cornelius on this one.
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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
Joined: 13 Dec 2007
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 1,265

PostPosted: Thu 31 Mar, 2016 5:29 am    Post subject: Can Anyone Tell Me About This Axe?         Reply with quote

As a decoration piece this axe is not suitable for chopping wood.
I believe its blade can damage easily.

“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

- Marcus Aurelius
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Scott S.




Location: Central North Carolina
Joined: 28 May 2009
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Posts: 108

PostPosted: Thu 31 Mar, 2016 7:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In addition to any other observations, I'd venture to say that most hand axes are not usually hafted like that, regardless of pins or wedges being used. As I understand it, when the axe head is mounted, the axe eye is slid up the length of the haft (which widens at the end) in order to work with centrifugal force. I may be entirely wrong, but I'm here to learn.
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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
Joined: 27 Nov 2004

Posts: 669

PostPosted: Thu 31 Mar, 2016 7:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott S. wrote:
In addition to any other observations, I'd venture to say that most hand axes are not usually hafted like that, regardless of pins or wedges being used. As I understand it, when the axe head is mounted, the axe eye is slid up the length of the haft (which widens at the end) in order to work with centrifugal force. I may be entirely wrong, but I'm here to learn.


Yeah, that's pretty much entirely wrong. Most axe heads are placed from the top and have wedges inserted to expand the shaft inside of the socket to secure them. A vast majority of modern tool axes have complex handles similar to the one on this piece - though this is obviously a very crude example.

Do a search on Google Images for "axe shaft wedge" to gain an immediate understanding of the process I'm describing.

-Gregory
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