15th-16th century. Also known as a wagoners axe as they were carried on the supply wagons which accompanied the armies to war. They are also specifically associated with the Peasants Revolt of 1524-25, in Southern Germany. This example, 86" overall with 16 1/4" iron head of elongated leaf form, sharpened on the lower edge and tapered in thickness to the point. Finely forged socket with faceted eye, expanded rectangular back peen and roped thickened lower segment. The blade struck with two crisp blade smiths marks below the socket and chisel and punch decorated with three symbols, unique to these, of what may be a stylized spear flanked by war sickles. That motif identical to the example shown in Stone fig.262 #3. The back edge also slightly curved as with that example. Head quite crisp with original surfaces showing dark patina. The lower curved cutting edge with localized pitting and a short hair line crack to the back, all consistent with its age. Haft dark with numerous small and similar dents as would occur from the vibration in a wagon. We have seen about half a dozen of these over the years and note that none showed any sign of sharpening or impact to the peen or hammer face. Thus it may be concluded that they were pole arms used by wagoners against mounted and unmounted attackers. The length, point and cutting edge made them very effective against armor and the size was manageable by muscular teamsters who, when not loading or unloading cargo, were straining against the teams reins. Additionally, they are shown as fighting weapons in early paintings and at least one example, with a back spike is known. Further, examples still exist in provincial European armories. So, their function as a tool, if accurate at all, must have been a secondary one.

Stock Number: 97-1040 (WFL.070)

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