Antique Forged Belt Axe with Poll


This is an original belt sized poll axe or hatchet, forged by a blacksmith, of the type which was often carried by frontiersmen and hunters. They were especially popular with early surveyors.  They could be used as both weapons and tools, and were light enough for long periods of foot travel.

The hickory haft is a replacement, but probably not far off from how the original would have looked. The octagonal shape of the poll is an old design and certainly consistent with the 18th century. It could also date to the late 19th century, since they were used throughout that century as well, and there’s no date or documentation on it (as there almost never is).

It’s a great well balanced little piece. It’s too small and fragile to be a camp axe, designed to live at a homestead, it was most likely made for foot travel. It’s importance to hunters was probably close to that of the hunting knife.  This particular axe was in the Bill Ruggie collection, who was a good friend, a noted collector, and a past President of the Contemporary Longrifle Association.

5.25″ axe head length

2.5″ axe head blade length

13″ haft length

Not for sale – in the Scavengeology Museum Collection.



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