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Battle axe

Object Number: 
1948.607
Date: 
ca. 1902
Medium: 
Steel, wood, wicker
Dimensions: 
Overall: 20 1/2 x 11 1/4 x 1 in. ( 52.1 x 28.6 x 2.5 cm )
Description: 
Axe with steel head and wooden handle; head with relatively straight upper and lower edges, angled cutting edge, and incurving back that narrows to a slender spike; cylindrical handle tapering slightly toward end; steel collar with narrow wicker band.
Gallery Label: 
According to the accession records, this object was acquired by the donor's husband, Colonel James Guthrie Harbord (1866-1947), while serving as Assistant Chief of Philippines Constabulary, U. S. Army, from 1903 to 1914. This type of weapon was apparently used for decapitation, after which the head of the victim could be carried as a trophy on the spike projecting from the back of the blade.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Mrs. James G. Harbord
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group