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[IDENTIFICATION] Is this a Biscayne French trade axe?

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Pindvin, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. jake pogg

    jake pogg

    374
    Dec 20, 2015
    Pindvin,you may want to take a look at this:

    https://www.academia.edu/11390492/M..._Chociwla_Late_medieval_weapons_from_Chociwel

    (especially the last drawing in the excerpt....)
     
    Ugaldie likes this.
  2. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    Ugaldie, junkenstien and Agent_H like this.
  3. Agent_H

    Agent_H Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Wow. I appreciate this forum more and more as time goes on. :thumbsup:
     
    Ugaldie, junkenstien and 300Six like this.
  4. junkenstien

    junkenstien Basic Member Basic Member

    265
    Feb 15, 2017
    Kinda thought it was more a weapon than a tool.
     
  5. jake pogg

    jake pogg

    374
    Dec 20, 2015
    Interesting how folks are attracted to the idea of something being a weapon...

    Here,
    http://asmund-pgd.blogspot.com/2013/11/typologia-zelezcow-toporow-wg-andrzeja.html

    a man argues that an axe with such Thick(?) bit such as this can Only be a weapon(something about it not sliding along the bone?:)),while earlier today i was reading how of all the axes it was the ones with extra-thin bit were MOST certainly a dedicated weapon design...

    Where have all the wooden buildings,ships,furniture,troughs for feeding swine and washing laundry came from,if (seemingly) ALL axes in history were Weapons?!...:)
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018 at 1:06 AM
  6. junkenstien

    junkenstien Basic Member Basic Member

    265
    Feb 15, 2017
    The long edge and the weight would make it a good weapon.
     
  7. jake pogg

    jake pogg

    374
    Dec 20, 2015
    Hmm...That sounds logical...Maybe it all happened like this:
     
    Ernest DuBois likes this.
  8. Ugaldie

    Ugaldie Gold Member Gold Member

    289
    Feb 27, 2013
    Great find @jake pogg!

    Same here, it looks like in ancient times they produced more weapons and god related items than tools. I think about wood processing as the most probable use of this axe, weapons tend to be lighter tools. Can you give some information about the text in the documment for those of us who don't understand it?
     
    jake pogg likes this.
  9. jake pogg

    jake pogg

    374
    Dec 20, 2015
    Ugaldie,i'm very sorry,but i don't speak Czech...:(

    I've looked at it with an electronic translator(a painful experience),but only gathered that it was a complex find,containing several objects,and the monograph addresses a few of them(but not all).It is dated(sounds like preliminary)14th-15th c.c.
    It is obviously a serious,scholarly article

    That second link in Polish is quite different.It purports to be a "typology",seems to be authored by a passionate and committed history reenactor fellow,and as well-meant as it may be,to my mind seems entirely spurious.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018 at 12:15 PM
    Ugaldie likes this.
  10. Kevin Houtzager

    Kevin Houtzager

    505
    Jun 25, 2017
    I you use the method of "one swing, one kill". But in reality people tend to duck, sidestep, block, run, and everything in between. Recovering from a swing with a weapon with the mass on the top is hard to say the least. Try using a sword or even a knife to give four slashes and measure time and energy and do the same for an axe or even a weighted club? It takes way longer and requires more energy. Breaking bones with an axe is a fairly dumb exersize, it wastes to much energy. Cutting a person is far more effective. Main arteries everywhere.
    Furthermore if there is armor involved, the above slashing wouldn't apply. But what happens to armor when you hit it? It dents. And when it dents force is expelled in every direction through the armor (and can even result in heating) .It can be pierced, but then you have to exert force on a fairly smal area or a very large force on a broad area. Fairly small meaning a spike or tip in a trust like motion. Which most axes suck at as they don't have a tip and even if they do have one, the tip isn't straight with the handle, so force goes to waste.
    Having enough force will pierce armor on stationairy objects even with a broad edge. But I explicedly mention stationairy objects, as the force involved on a human would mean you would most likely blow the human down to the ground without piercing. Someone has to be on a chopping block to cut his head with an axe, or has to lay flat on the ground or against a wall for it to work.
     
  11. Ernest DuBois

    Ernest DuBois

    414
    Mar 2, 2013
    We shouldn't leave out the mouse trap makers, standing out there on those front lines.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018 at 7:14 AM
    jake pogg likes this.
  12. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    In past threads Jake has argued (successfully, in my mind) that the vast majority of so-called military axes were in fact work axes pressed into service by the conscripted peasntry. What few axes were actually designed militaria appear to be mostly for ceremonial use.
     
  13. junkenstien

    junkenstien Basic Member Basic Member

    265
    Feb 15, 2017
    Kinda light for splitting,pretty thick and curved for hewing what do you think it would excel at?Didnt they like to fight in large groups with shields and spears and swords?Vikings,Indians and pirates liked them I think for butchery or offense against unprepared opponents.
     
  14. Ernest DuBois

    Ernest DuBois

    414
    Mar 2, 2013
    The image Steve Tall has posted over is on the face of it remarkably similar - and I think also tracking down such a similar looking one - and from a Czech language web address to boot, is remarkable - to the axe in question here but a bit more looking and to my eye the actual differences are so great that I can draw few parallels between the one and the other. The basic construction of the two are not the same. The Czech example, a simple wrap-around butterfly make-up, with the added steel bit - so nice - while the axe under review seems to my eye to have in addition to the butterfly construction a central filler sandwiched in between the wings, nothing unusual about that but shows a completely different forging process. The eye forms are not similar, the one more squat and rounded, ( it's almost more socket than eye), the other elongated. Neither are the bearded sections of the two axes related.
    I can really appreciate how nimble the forum is jumping from page to page and back all the time keeping the reply box up to date.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018 at 11:54 AM
  15. 300Six

    300Six

    Aug 29, 2013
    I'm onside with this observation. How better to arm villagers, reservists and trades people in case of war than by encouraging or supplying implements that are considerably more useful for mundane tasks the rest of the time. Making, storing and maintaining specific weapons and training people on their use is a costly exercise. In times of conflict you don't have to teach a wood cutter, carpenter or butcher how to use his/her own ax. And in all likelihood such an implement will immediately be on hand and been properly cared for in the event of a surprise attack.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018 at 1:00 PM
  16. jake pogg

    jake pogg

    374
    Dec 20, 2015
    Ernest,i share your reservations.Both axes differ in their construction details,and of course the eye shape.
    However,at least in theory,these differences may be accounted for by factors of region,the local nature of iron itself,or the different forging methods(which was always the case,even among the forges in the same locale AND historic period;these two may differ by a century or more...).
    What i see as similarities are these:
    1.The "neck",section directly in front of the eye,is very full,so that the sides of the head converge as an even wedge(Maine-like),without a declivity there.
    That is deliberate,as it's not easily done.Especially on the first (Pindvin's) example.By looking at the second photo in the beginning of this thread one can see that the head was welded in an Asymmetric manner.One side of butterfly long,the other short and had a "blob",for the losses of mass in welding.Achieving this is not that easy,retaining that mass while securing the weld is rather tricky,and so had to've been deliberate.
    (the second,possibly folded symmetrically,also had to do some special moves to achieve that effect).
    2.The Angle of the edge,to the theoretical line of haft,of the axe in use.It isn't a very common angle,a strangely radiused+Closed one....
    So,these two things i see as a possible balance to the rather important differences that you bring up.
     
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  17. Ugaldie

    Ugaldie Gold Member Gold Member

    289
    Feb 27, 2013
    Different bit construction differences aren't necessarily a symptom of axes produced in different regions. Here pre 1950 all axe building methods commented here have been used by different axemakers who lived in a 50 kilometers diameter zone. Post 1950 they started producing their axes mostly in the same way using the same iron and steel from the same factory, they wrapped the eye in a filler but some of them wrapped the steel and others inserted it in the bit. The bit steeling preference was based in each axemakes skills, habits and preferences.

    That's not all, when an axe needed to be resteeled it was done by wrapping steel to the bit regardless the type of original type of construction it had in origin. This work was considered a easy one consequently it wasn't done not strictly by the axemaker but by any blacksmith you could encounter.

    But that's not all, when an axe eye was deteriorated local blacksmiths fixed it. From reshaping the eye to building it completelly new it was done most of the times by a different person than the one who produced the axe. Each blacksmith produced it in his way depending in his skills, the work to be done and the tools and materials available, so each blacksmith could produce more or less different looking eyes, sometimes this reconstruction affected even to the main body.

    The same can be said by the type of body wrapping when there isn't any filler used to build the axe. Producing a symmetrically welded body is the construction type which needs most skill and time. I haven't talk with anyone who has used this type of construction but I have talk with one whose father used it. When I asked him about it he told me there wasn't one method to do it, in this case too it was up to the each ones preference.

    Time ago axes weren't produced with the same control quality as in the industrial period and each axe had its life. Taking all of this in account think in all the variants you can encounter. Some differences are evident, like a oval eye vs triangular one, but sometimes you see people discussing hard for slight differences in two particular axes when those differences can easily be explained by different maker building habits for the same pattern.

    In my opinion the Czech axe shown here is close enough to Pindvin axe to discard they were the same type of axe.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018 at 6:01 PM
    jake pogg likes this.
  18. jake pogg

    jake pogg

    374
    Dec 20, 2015
    Thank you,Ugaldie,many of these are very important points to note,and you have put it so Very well.
     
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  19. Ernest DuBois

    Ernest DuBois

    414
    Mar 2, 2013
    Yes, thanks Ugaldie. I agree anyway that the bit section is an unreliable indication of origin, time or place, so I left it only with the mention. The eye/sockets I think are a way of making fairly reliable regional distinctions, local variations usually being still identifiable. When I made the impression that one axe is Czech that was sloppy and I exchange "Czech example" for "axe №2" because it seems they could be coming from anywhere between the Pyrenees to the Tatras.
    Jake, do you say this angle on both axes is similar? I don't see it, they seem also different in this regard.
     
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