Axe Head in Two Pieces

One Ping Only

Tenderfoot
Jun 15, 2021
5
13
NY, NC
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Hello Everyone,

Found the two pieces to this broken axe head on two different days metal detecting in NC - imagine my joy when I realized they actually fit together 😃

Anyway, from what I?ve gathered so far in doing a little research, the head shape seems to align with the one I?ve seen on identification charts as a NC axe, and the poll seems to suggest a ?fold over? construction which if I understand correctly implies handmade forging by a blacksmith or similar tradesperson.

I?m curious as to its age, and though I can?t make out any markings, I?m wondering if being able to see the inside of the cheeks and how they fit together, how they separated, how they line up, etc. can give us a clue as to it?s age?

Also, the bit edge has a black trim running it?s length?does anybody know the significance of that?

The head is 5 inches by 4.25 inches and the two pieces together weigh about 2 lbs. As you can see from the pics I?ve cleaned it up a bit using some rust remover and am contemplating having an armature stand made to hold the pieces together for display, but we?ll see.

I?m new to the forums - thank you in advance for any insights!
 

Attachments

  • E8DBD6D4-912A-4AA9-9021-D8DC06B09EBC.jpeg
    E8DBD6D4-912A-4AA9-9021-D8DC06B09EBC.jpeg
    1.4 MB · Views: 66
  • C35E8419-ADED-41E2-A889-0AA84D04ED05.jpeg
    C35E8419-ADED-41E2-A889-0AA84D04ED05.jpeg
    1.7 MB · Views: 72
  • FF8B6ED8-82C7-4D42-9316-7AF01971F852.jpeg
    FF8B6ED8-82C7-4D42-9316-7AF01971F852.jpeg
    1.7 MB · Views: 64
  • BFA30E87-34AD-42D3-AFD2-E916CBC2B2DE.jpeg
    BFA30E87-34AD-42D3-AFD2-E916CBC2B2DE.jpeg
    1.8 MB · Views: 84
  • F6C8A4CD-A96B-43D8-B300-E066040EBCFA.jpeg
    F6C8A4CD-A96B-43D8-B300-E066040EBCFA.jpeg
    685 KB · Views: 64
  • 9EDE9169-9152-43E4-B171-1DEDF556DFDC.jpeg
    9EDE9169-9152-43E4-B171-1DEDF556DFDC.jpeg
    630.9 KB · Views: 74
  • 21822829-29E5-47EB-8939-CC23F85705D7.jpeg
    21822829-29E5-47EB-8939-CC23F85705D7.jpeg
    804.4 KB · Views: 81
Upvote 10

vpnavy

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jun 15, 2008
35,232
18,724
York County, PA (USA)
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
tn_md.gif
1st - I noticed this was your very first post - so, Welcome Aboard One Ping Only! You didn't list your state (or country) in your profile. So, you might consider jumping over to Sub-Forum: Select Your Area.... for information (i.e., clubs, hunts, finds, legends, maps, etc.) directly related to your state (or country).

tn_axes.gif
2nd - Nice find! Thanks for sharing...

teacher.gif
3rd - I pulled these from other TN threads...


 

Tony in SC

Gold Member
Jun 8, 2006
6,127
8,496
Upstate South Carolina
Detector(s) used
Whites, Minelab, Tesoro, and custom machines
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
A fold over usually indicates being Smith made, but some of the very early production axes were also folded. The dark tint could have come come tempering? I would guess 1800's because early 1900 it was better to by a hardware store axe?
 

OP
OP
O

One Ping Only

Tenderfoot
Jun 15, 2021
5
13
NY, NC
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Thank you for the profile location tip…done…and the axe chart suggests a North Carolina pattern which makes sense as that is where I found it �� Appreciate you sharing those charts very much! ����
 

OP
OP
O

One Ping Only

Tenderfoot
Jun 15, 2021
5
13
NY, NC
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
1800’s…cool, thank you. And thank you for the welcome! Excited to be part of these forums. I read something about smiths using steel for the bit edge itself, laminating it within the rest of the head piece which was made from iron. No clue if that’s happening here but maybe the black edge at the bevel line is where the two laminated pieces meet?
 

releventchair

Gold Member
May 9, 2012
22,528
71,538
Primary Interest:
Other
I agree with the steel insert in bit's edge.
Steel was precious in relation to value when measured against iron.
The iron was folded , then the insert forge welded.

Axe heads varied by geography.
But also among smiths.
A smithy from another culture or location could continue what they had been building elsewhere.
And a good smith could make a build based on customer preference. And customers varied.

You're in N.Y. or near for recovery site?
In very cold weather an axe head should be warmed before use. As they could be brittle when very cold.
A wooden maul/mallet used to drive a head like a wedge is easier on the head than a hammer , or poll of another axe.
But tools as ever can be subject to abuse.

Welcome to TreasureNet!
And congrats on the recovery. It's a keeper for sure.
 

eyemustdigtreasure

Silver Member
Mar 2, 2013
3,602
5,581
California
Detector(s) used
Fisher Gold Bug Pro
Tesoro Cibola
Nokta Pointer; Phillips SHS5200 phones
Nokta Macro SIMPLEX +
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Hey, great Find...!
....and, Welcome to TreasureNet...!
 

OP
OP
O

One Ping Only

Tenderfoot
Jun 15, 2021
5
13
NY, NC
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Thank you! Glad to be aboard!

Ahhh…so the steel insert really was a thing - that explains the black line. On closer study of the head I can actually see where a large glob of the steel hardened and is clearly a different material than the iron. I’ll post it below.

Sounds like between the geography, blacksmith’s personal background, the customer, and other factors, the resulting axe head design could be influenced in ways that make it difficult to tie it with any certainty to one specific locale. I found this guy in NC (I’m in NY now but spend considerable time in NC where I grew up).

Interesting about the cold temp impact - makes sense. Maybe this guy shattered on a cold morning ��
 

Top Member Reactions

Users who are viewing this thread

Top