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Old 25th January 2011, 12:45 AM   #1
Lee
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This post has been split off from another thread showing additional examples of 17th century Norwegian battle axes. Please refer also to Trond's page.

_____

I will post some dimensions later, but for now here are a few photographs.

Trond, I had indeed found your axe page and put a link to it and your main page on the static site entry page. I had not noticed that I could enlarge the photos and so have been appreciating the engraving...
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Old 25th January 2011, 07:14 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
I will post some dimensions later, but for now here are a few photographs.

Trond, I had indeed found your axe page and put a link to it and your main page on the static site entry page. I had not noticed that I could enlarge the photos and so have been appreciating the engraving.


Wow Lee, that seems to be a 100 % original Norwegian battle axe, probably from the 1630s or there about and with a beautiful flamed birch shaft/handle (what is the correct English word?). A pity that there is a chip missing from the edge. But the handle, I really wish I had an original one as well.

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Old 25th January 2011, 10:44 AM   #3
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Admitting to that although I have seen fairly many of these battle axes through the years, not very many of them had the original handles. I can't remember that the few I have seen had the "flamed birch".



Flammebjerk - flamed birch was popular in Norway on the more expensive civilian rifles of the 1800s. The bottom one is actually a military rifle from 1860. But I would have thought that wood going in "all directions" could have weakened the handle. But it does make it nice to look at!

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Old 28th January 2011, 10:06 PM   #4
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Question No good deed goes unpunished - more questions...

Below are a few more photographs of the axe.

I am sorry to disappoint, but I do not believe the haft is the beautiful flamed birch illustrated in the gun stocks above. The grain of the axe handle is relatively straight and the dark areas appear to be mildly 'ebonized' (darkened by restrained heat). Pictures can so deceive. Below are two closeups near the haft cap.

Up close, the spike appears to be a single forging from which the curved elements arise. This has always reminded me of a crown.

Mass = 1,122 grams; maximum length = 1.045 meters

And a few questions for Trond (and or anyone else):

Have you seen similar curving in battle-axe hafts on other examples; is such a curve a typical feature? (I have believed this to be deliberate rather than age warping as the metal axehead also seems to follow the same curve.)

I find the crescent mark to be similar to that on Trond's engraved type 'A' axehead, but not from the same die. Perhaps the same workshop?

Any idea of what the little rings on the haft next to the head were used for?

Lastly, any idea of how expensive these would have been for the typical farmer of the time in terms of days of work required to earn the money to buy one?
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Old 4th February 2011, 08:22 PM   #5
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Hi,
i found these two illustrations in "Heribert Seitz, Blakwaffen, Part 2"
First one is dated with 1610 and has the same butt.
Very fine and rare pieces.
Dirk
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Old 6th February 2011, 05:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
And a few questions for Trond (and or anyone else):

Have you seen similar curving in battle-axe hafts on other examples; is such a curve a typical feature? (I have believed this to be deliberate rather than age warping as the metal axehead also seems to follow the same curve.)

I find the crescent mark to be similar to that on Trond's engraved type 'A' axehead, but not from the same die. Perhaps the same workshop?

Any idea of what the little rings on the haft next to the head were used for?

Lastly, any idea of how expensive these would have been for the typical farmer of the time in terms of days of work required to earn the money to buy one?


As mentioned before, my knowledge on DkN muskets and rifles is not too bad, but I have only collected edged weapons the last ten years and axes only the last few.

None of my axes have the original haft and I can't remember if other axes I have seen have this curve.

As far as I know, one does not know where these axes were produced or even if they for certain were made in Norway. They probably were as they are not known from other places.

Sorry I could not be of more help.

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Old 11th February 2011, 11:54 AM   #7
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Junker, thank you so much for sharing the examples from Seitz. I have not previously seen the second volume and so this is new to me. The German name shown in the caption, bauernaxt, is interesting as it does relate the form to the peasantry. Considering another thread of the moment, I suppose these axes, as prized possessions, are as special to 17th century Norway as the long rifles are to 18-19th century America.

Trond, you know so much more about these than I do and I suspect that you are much more likely than I to come across more examples with original hafts, so, though I will keep my eyes open I suspect you will learn the answer before I. I have found a few more examples pictured on the web and promise to add links to these fairly soon.
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Old 11th February 2011, 04:55 PM   #8
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Lee

What if any is the purpose of the angled mounting of the head. It seems quite awkward for a battle axe .
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Old 11th February 2011, 05:21 PM   #9
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It actually is rather ingenious. An ordinary axe gives a sharp and powerful stab, but only the one place the axe hits. The Norwegian battle axes both stab and cut as the blade will move downwards due to the angled haft.

See more about them at Norwegian battle axes.

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Old 8th May 2017, 01:30 PM   #10
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Smile Question answered

I had been browsing over on myArmoury and came across this thread which in turned led to an earlier related thread but that also included a link to several images of a very similar Norwegian bonde°ks to the one at the top of this thread.

I contacted the Maihaugen museum as to whether there might also be such curvature on their axe, as it looked like it might have come from the same workshop and was delighted to receive a reply that the curvature of the hafts (in the 'third' dimension) is indeed an intentional design feature sometimes seen among the type A bonde°ks (the type most reminiscent of the 'Viking' style!)
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Old 27th June 2017, 08:01 PM   #11
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i was under the assumption that the curved handle and angled head were designed for throwing. Wrong?
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Old 28th June 2017, 05:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W
i was under the assumption that the curved handle and angled head were designed for throwing. Wrong?



It appears axes were shaped like that for maximum efficiency on target as they inflicted huge damage because of the strike angle and would cause a slashing gaping wound in addition... They were used left handed as that enabled the weapon to be used against the less well defended side of the opponent.
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Old 28th June 2017, 05:25 PM   #13
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Old 29th June 2017, 08:49 PM   #14
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Here is a very clever move using an axe...from http://www.hurstwic.org/history/art.../viking_axe.htm
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