The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Axe
  • Axe
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany, probably
  • early 15th century - 16th century
    19th century (helve)
  • Iron or steel and wood, etched or incised
  • Weight: 0.735 kg
  • Inscription: 'I H S' Etched or incised
    Inscription: 'M A' Etched or incised
  • A924
  • European Armoury I
Commentary
Further Reading
  • Axe-head, with a slightly curved cutting-edge, rectangular at the base. The upper edge rises to form an angle with the cutting-edge, and has a semi-circular, pierced projection with two flukes. On one side the sacred monogram I H S, on the reverse the letters M A have been deeply etched or incised. It is mounted on a modern haft.

    Probably German, 15th or early 16th century.

    Laking, European Armour III, fig. 918.

    If the letters have in fact been etched, this would be an early example of this process. The evidence on which Laking (op. cit., III, p. 118) stated that it was found in France cannot be traced. The form of the letters suggests a German rather than French origin.