Original European Executioner Beheading Axe Circa 1550-1700
Original Item: Only One Available. An Axe is a tool, there are many types of axes for many different jobs. The market is awash with modern reproduction Executioner's Axes but 99% are based on pure fantasy. Many original medieval axes were purpose made for specialized purposes but today are passed off as for severing heads.
In the fourteen hundred beheading was the traditional death sentence, whereas Nobility were dispatched using a sword, most notably Anne Boleyn second wife of English King Henry the VIII. Common folk, however, were sent to the Axe.
By the late 1700s and the time of the French Revolution an mechanical device known as the Guillotine had been adopted all over France as it was considered more humane. Medieval Europe depended on the local headsman with his axe, and every large town had an executioner.
This is a genuine museum de-acquisition; a classic headsman's axe. The blade extends well down toward the headsman which allows for a far surer strike. It is amazing how on some occasions it required several blows to remove just one small head.
Blade edge measures 13", shaft length 28.5 and very heavy at 10 lbs. Our example displays centuries of pitting, and still has an original wood shaft in place, though well worm-damaged.
There is a marking deeply stamped into the blade that appears to read:
We are unable to discern the meaning however we were told this is Catalan which is where Barcelona, Spain in located. That being the case then maybe this once belonged to the Spanish Inquisition? Well worthy of some deep research!
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