This small axe is beautifully decorated with etched design modeled after the famous original Mammen axe. Head is steel and has a 4" polished cutting edge. Handle is hardwood and about 17 3/4" long. Weighs about 1 pound. A great addition to any collection.
The original axe was as much art as it was a weapon. It was found in a grave at Mammen in Denmark and made from iron with a silver inlay. The find is dated to the late 10th century. The design on the axe can be interpreted as being pagan and Christian. One side has a tree motif which may symbolize the Christian Tree of life or Yggdrasil. The other side has an animal figure which may be the rooster Gullinkambi or the Phoenix. It is not known whether the deceased in the grave was Christian or pagan. The axe is displayed at the Danish national museum in Copenhagen.
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This is an impressive piece of work. I was expecting mere etching. However the very authentic looking designs were pressed into the steel and then highlighted. And overall it looks great. The edge is smooth and sharp, but I'll not be cutting down trees or Anglo-Saxons with it-- it is too nice for that. The handle feels a little thin, but then again it is proportionate to the head.
Completely functional for chopping or fighting--yet fancy enough for formal wear. This is what every well-dressed Jarl should have hanging from his belt.