900-1100 AD. Viking Age. Iron battle axe with heavy, straight blade, rectangular cheek, reinforced eye and hammerhead butt. The hammer would allow the wielder of the axe to deliver crushing, bludgeoning attacks to armoured opponents, in addition to the primary cutting attack of the axe’s blade. The bearded axe, or Skeggøx (from Old Norse Skegg, “beard”, and øx, “axe”) was common from the 6th century AD onwards in Scandinavia, but made most famous by the Vikings, who used these axes in battle to terrible effect. Bearded axes are named for the fact that the main part of the axe blade extends below the butt of the axe, creating a large cutting blade and allowing a fighter to hook onto the shields or weapons of his (or her) opponents. The era known as the Viking age lasted for more than 300 years, from the late 8th century to the late 11th century. The history of the Vikings is closely linked to their role as masters of the sea. They were feared as fierce and ruthless invaders; this axe probably belonged to a Viking warrior who left his home to travel and fight in search of fortune. Excellent condition; on a custom stand.
Size: L:190mm / W:76mm ; 460g
Provenance: From an old British collection formed in the 1990s; previously acquired in Germany.