Rare Early English Medieval Anglo-Saxon Iron Double Bladed Axe Head Conserved
March 30, 2019
Add To Saved Sellers. Rare Early English Medieval Anglo-Saxon Iron Double Bladed Axe Head Conserved. Oxide conserved via removal and oiling. Century AD Holme, Cambridgeshire. Axe blades at 9 cm each: overall length at 22.5 cm: weight at 432 grams. This Anglo-Saxon axe head [and currently listed mace head and spear] were recovered in the area of a known battle, which took place in the winter of AD 903 / 904: Although it cannot be proved to be from this battle – it is highly likely. This is a rare and complete double-bladed axe head, which was found locally along with a period Anglo-Saxon spiked mace head. The axe head has been forged in the whole and detail a square central outer body-collar with a circular hafting hole within at a diametre of 2.8cm. The axe blades each project 9 cm from the central hafting socket: It is very rare to have an item in this complete condition and referenced to a historically known battle site in the early Medieval period. Oxide removal and careful oiling and sealing to a museum display standard. This item was unearthed locally in the winter of 1994 while a series of drainage ditches were being extended by farm workers: and I acquired the item and a similar period Anglo-Saxon mace head from the finder in 2003: When I received the items they were as dug and, as such suffering with oxide degradation: Before adding them to my armoury collection I carefully conserved the item and the results are now appreciated. The Battle of Holme. The village of Holme is thought to be the site of a battle, said to have taken place in the winter of AD 903 904, during a period of civil war between two claimants to the throne of Wessex after Alfred the Great died. His son Edward the elder took the throne of Wessex but Æthelwold, son of Alfreds older brother disputed his claim. In AD 902 Æthelwold came with a fleet to Essex and the following year he persuaded the East Anglian Danes to attack the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Mercia and north Wessex: Edward retaliated by ravaging East Anglia and the Danish army was forced to return to defend its own territory. Edward then retreated along the Great North Road, but the men of Kent straggled. Æthelwold and the Danes caught up with them and it is thought chased them down Glatton Lane to the Fen edge at Holme. They were unable to escape and in the ensuing battle Æthelwold and the Kentish leader were killed: Although the Danes won the battle it did end the brutal civil war in the south. This battle is mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon chronicles and it reports that thousands of combatants were killed. The item “Rare Early English Medieval Anglo-Saxon Iron Double Bladed Axe Head Conserved” is in sale since Friday, March 29, 2019. This item is in the category “Antiques\Antiquities\British”. The seller is “ancientpasts” and is located in Peterborough. This item can be shipped worldwide.
- Colour: Brown
- Material: Cast Iron
- Type: Axes
- Provenance: AP Private Collection formed in the 1990s