Rare naval commando axe, Venetian, 2nd half 16th century
Length: 11,8 cm, Weight: 270 g.
Dossier as PDF
Open-worked, elaborately ornamented with grotesques by steel cutting and chiselling.
I. Frederik Muller & Cie, Amsterdam, auction on July 3rd, 1899: Catalogue des collections d’antiquites au Château de Heeswijk Musée Baron van den Bogaerde, lot Nr. 998 (sold on a later wooden haft that is now removed)
II. Collection Luigi Nessi, Lugano. This axe was shown at the special exhibition "Preziosen der Handwerkskunst. Ein Raritätenkabinett edler
Arbeitsgeräte" at the Museum der Kulturen, Basel, Switzerland (20.4.2002 - 10.11.2002).
It is published in the accompanying book: Wunderlin, D. et al (2002):
Preziosen der Handwerkskunst, page 72 and picture on page 73.
The axe head is also published in Nessi, L.(2004): Antique tools and instruments, pl. 66.
This object served as a commanding staff that was used by admirals of the Venetian fleet in the sixteenth century. In order to understand this function
it is helpful to study the corresponding development of the knights and landsquenets fighting in the field.