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Thread: 18-19th cent Indo-Persian axes x 2. Any experts out there?

  1. #1

    18-19th cent Indo-Persian axes x 2. Any experts out there?

    2 x Persian axes im am close to buying. If anyone has any ideas on age, origin etc then please let me know.

    1st is described as 18-19th cent Persian Battle axe, seems a bargain at the price of just under £70 ($140?).

    This second axe intrigues me. Its described as indo-persian adze made from bronze with a steel axe head / blade. Description reckons the semi-precious stones attatched were normally pinched from ancient burials tombs. It is alot smaller though than it looks in pics, its apparantly only 11inchs from bottom of handle to top.

    anyone know about these sorts of pieces? i assume they were ceremonial. he wants £125 ($250) for it. If its solid bronze is that abit of a bargain??

    Last edited by Adam Hart; 05-11-2008 at 06:54 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Nipmuc USA
    Hi Adam,

    If it is not too late, save your money.

    The first is not of construction used in any functional axe I have ever seen but quite often used in making decorative pieces. Maybe from the last century, possibly from this one. Not Persian unless bought in a market there with that description. Not terribly old and not an accurate representation. This is not even up the the period decorative items of the 19th century and looks more like a fairly recent re-enactors piece.

    The second, well, it is just so horribly horrible. There is no real rhyme nor reason I can see to it unless it is somehow visually appealing to you. I don't mean to call your baby ugly but that, to me, is ugly not just in appearance.

    Buy the objects, not the stories. If you can't find other examples like a given object, ask yourself why and study options carefully before putting your money down. Always buy the best pieces you can afford and wonder why some are maybe priced too attractively. If it seems too good to be true, threre is often a serious condition problem or the piece is simply falsely described. A broad focus can be a good thing but don't fall into the trap of 'I'll buy it because I can afford it and it looks cool".

    I had seen another axe like your first here when you first posted of it elsewhere. I've seen it since and neglected to bookmark it. I believe it said something along the lines of 19th century reproduction of a French battle axe. It was better done than this one. If I happen to see it again (I'm pretty sure it will be listed forever). I'll shoot you a pm with a link.

    There is an outfit named Oriental Arms that might be of interest for you to browse. I think also Lion Gate is still on the SFI link list. A rather larger set of links over at myAmoury and I had actually dumped a large list of dealers over at the SBG PR section. Follow all those link lists. You may have found someone selling stuff cheap, that doesn't mean it will always be a reliable source of history and knowledge. The seller could well have bought the items as exactly what he lists them as. That doesn't make the listings more accurate. It is actually a much more commonplace occurence than you might think.

    Someone listed a sword for sale here recently and used the previous seller's listing verbatim. The problem is that it included some pretty fanciful wording that would not make the sale easier to an experienced collector. When I later discussed this with the seller, he couldn't even see the problem in doing that and shrugged it off. All I can conclude is that some are willing to use a scatter gun approach to collecting and I guess that's fine if there are funds and it is not viewed as a huge loss. At the same time though, it's not unlike buying several inexpensive reproductions along the way to understanding more expensive goods really are nicer. In both instances, the seemingly easiest and cheapest route can end up being pretty costly and the collector of either has leaned very little about what real arms are like. Don't let cost cloud your reasoning when shopping for antiques. MOst of all, don't become attached to the description you buy items as and then pass on misinformation when you sell.


    Hotspur; I think the similar axe was over on Gunbroker
    Last edited by Glen C.; 05-11-2008 at 10:14 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    central New Mexico
    The first one looks like the ones we used to see in the 1970's at the import places for about US$5-10. Cheap sheetmetal wallhangers.

    The second one it totally out of my knowledge base; but the stones do *NOT* look old and recycled. New and recycled yes.
    Thomas Powers
    CoFounder of the Intergalactic Union of Bladesmiths
    "when you forge upon a star"---you better have your union card handy!

  4. #4
    nope havent spent anything on these yet or commited to buy.

    Very hard to get antiques at decent prices over here in the uk, and these appealed basically due to the cheap price and the fact i hadnt come across anything similar...

    2nd one i wasnt really interested in buying, just wanted more info as i hadnt seen anything like it and if it was solid bronze as stated by the seller i thought it might have some value...

    surprised and pleased youve given me that info about the first peice though as i was considering buying it. Looked functional and asif it had some age to my novice eyes. although never even owned an axe before....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Fayetteville North Carolina
    The second one is of all things a Kitchen tool, I have one i bought in Afghanistan, it is used not so much for chopping but for scraping pulp with a pulling motion towards the user.

    The first is not worth your time or money, and i think it is a cheep reproduction, it does not look anything like any of the axes I have from the area.

    If you want one of them, buy the Kitchen tool, at least it is unique and looks to be an original peace. The motifs are Kuchi and it is a very good example of there work


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