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J. Padgett




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Aug, 2005 2:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you really think about it what would be the point of a double headed axe in combat? Catching someone on the backswing after your initial stroke wouldn't hit nearly as hard as simply rotating your wrists, and swinging the main edge towards the second target.
"The truth shall make ye fret."
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Kenneth Enroth




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Aug, 2005 3:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What's the point of a double bitted axe when felling trees then?
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J. Padgett




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Aug, 2005 3:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have no idea. Different edge geometry on each end?
"The truth shall make ye fret."
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Kenneth Enroth




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Aug, 2005 3:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You keep one edge really keen for working on the tree trunks. The other edge duller for work closer to the ground.
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Sun 28 Aug, 2005 9:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far as I've gathered, the two edges have a different geometry, for different uses.
Also, it means that you dont need to stopp to sharpen your axe as often.
Personally, I don't think enough blows are traded in a battle to warrant a fresh edge, even though the sagas describes this on occasion....

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Sun 28 Aug, 2005 9:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The addition of a spike or hammer to the off-side of the head is probably better that another blade. It adds versatility to the weapon's function. That's probably why we see more of that in surviving examples than the double-bladed variety.
"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Gavin Kisebach




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PostPosted: Sun 28 Aug, 2005 6:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have to go with the thory of less sharpening. Assuming I'm a medieval woodsman, and I plan to cut wood ALL FREAKIN DAY, I can A: carry two axes, or B: carry one double axe or C: carry a grinding wheel out to the job site. Hmmm.

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe" - Abe Lincoln
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S Ott





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PostPosted: Sun 28 Aug, 2005 6:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

perhaps double headed axes are more balanced than a single or perhaps it saves on the need to sharpen the blade since you have a backup
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Sun 28 Aug, 2005 6:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

I handled a A&A tabor some 7 years ago and seem to remeber being impressed with the balance. I can say that with my Danish having a rather substantial blade is felt in the hands when wielded. I wonder to what century the tabor is attributed.

Jeremy
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Aug, 2005 2:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
The addition of a spike or hammer to the off-side of the head is probably better that another blade. It adds versatility to the weapon's function. That's probably why we see more of that in surviving examples than the double-bladed variety.


Like this?




I WANT ONE! Cry

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Alex B.





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PostPosted: Mon 29 Aug, 2005 2:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

These polearms were in the armory of the Doge's Palace, Venice, Italy. Look at the fourth pollaxe from the left.


 Attachment: 122.93 KB
strange polearms.jpg

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Aug, 2005 2:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alex;

Thanks for the picture: Good grief Eek! Eek! Eek! If I drew any of these and asked someone to make a custom version everybody would assume " Fantasy " design: We do tend to always see the more usual or conventional pictures of typical polearms to the point that we tend to have an oversimplified idea of what was " historical ".

We really need more books on polearms Laughing Out Loud

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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Aug, 2005 2:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Now, it is quite posible that a lot of these are seremonial/parade weapons...
"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Alex B.





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PostPosted: Tue 30 Aug, 2005 8:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling Polden wrote:
Now, it is quite posible that a lot of these are seremonial/parade weapons...


Possible, or they could have been specialized for duels (judicial or otherwise). If you look at one of the Talhoffer texts (not the 1467, but the others are harder to find), you'll see some really odd polearms actually being used in combat. Just because it's odd, that doesn't mean it wasn't used on occasion.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Aug, 2005 12:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Or maybe " fantasy " weapons is not a totally modern phenomenon. Eek! Laughing Out Loud

A late period weapon type: Still in use as a type in simpler form but coexisting in time with less practical display pieces?

A bit of experimentation combining features of of different types into one maybe ?

Some of the wilder hooks and serrations don't seem to be in a place where they would add to functionality of some of these.

The whole form follows function idea is a modern one: Ornate decoration for its' own sake can in some cases be functional,
have no impact on function or actually impair function.

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Gavin Kisebach




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Aug, 2005 6:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The trouble with the polearms from the Doges Palace is just that: they are polearms, and really fall into a seperate category (at least as I look at it) than a battle axe.

Therefore let me reiterate my purpose and quest: Are there any actual surviving examples of the ubiquitous doublebladed fantasy axe; haft length 18 - 40 inches, specialized for warfare, i.e. a narrow blade. This should be an example from Europe, not a poleaxe, and not designed for ceremony.

I realize this may be a futile search, but now I've just got to know. Perhaps the reason it's hard to find is that weapons of this type were simply used up, or returned to agricultural service.

I've posted or attempted to post a picture that should summarize this concept.



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HerosAxe.jpg

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 03 Sep, 2005 9:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is a photo of A&A's now-discontinued #009 Taber Axe.


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009TabarAxe.jpg
A&A #009 Taber Axe (Discontinued)

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Mike Luke




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PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2005 5:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I believe they were not that popular in western europe. Their were most likely a few in circulation that probably originated in the east where things like that were more popular. Probably not carried by a knight but something along the lines of a man at arms. Generaly speaking when ever their is only a few of something not much is written about unless the one using it becomes famous. And of coarse their are probably exceptions to this. The following is a current explanation on double bitted axes from the Gränsfors Bruks web site. They make some of if not the best axes available.

Different models of double-bit axes have been popular in the US since the last quarter of the 19th century because of its balanced feel and versatility. Typically, one blade was sharpened to a finely honed, narrow “felling edge”, while the second blade was ground slightly blunter, and used for knots and cutting near the ground where a finely sharpened blade was more likely to be damaged. Today the double-bit axe is used as a Working Axe or as a Throwing Axe for timber sports.

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Hisham Gaballa





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PostPosted: Fri 09 Sep, 2005 1:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I know you are looking for examples from Western Europe, but I was having a look in Anthony C. Tirri's "Islamic Weapons, Maghrib to Moghul" when I found several double-headed axes. One of them was a 19th century Sudanese axe, which does look like a fighting axe and may have been used by one of the Mahdi's warriors. The remainder are Indian and Iranian, they are so ornately decorated they were probably ceremonial weapons or "bazaar pieces".
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Michael P Smith





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PostPosted: Fri 09 Sep, 2005 11:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Staberg wrote:
Pictorial evidence is generaly the hardest kind of of source to used, it is hard to determine what is based on a real object the artist has seen and what is "artistic licence" unless a picture can be supported by documentary and archeological sources as well.
For example
One well know drawing of an event at the battle of Bouvines 1214 show a mailed mounted archer armed with a composite bow. Does this mean that the victorious French army employed mounted archery?


Possibly. In "the Great Warbow", Matthew Strickland cites evidence for the use of composite bows in Northwestern Europe in the very late 12th and through the 13th century. Possibly these were used by turcopoles returning from crusade with their masters. Richard I apparently brought some "Saracen" (probably Turcopoles) archers back with him as well.

Interestingly, there are some bows that appear to be composite bows in the Mispronouncski Bible, though it is difficult to tell if they are portrayimg weapons actually used in France at the time.

Mike
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