The royal battle axe which embodied the power of the king and allowed any to whom it was bestowed to enjoy the protection of the king. 19 1/4" length with wood haft. The back with a raised iron crest, perhaps used as a fire starter. The blade with axe form base evolving into a scroll. Both iron elements decorated with stamped crescents. The butt with a banded iron ferrule. Wood showing texture from age and use with glossy patina. Iron with glossy brown patina. The Dahomey were substantial suppliers of slaves on the Atlantic coast, largely to the Portuguese. The recade is strictly restricted to the king and his representatives. This is a genuine 19th century, or earlier example, not to be confused with the fanciful, post French colonization examples.