FUR TRADE AXES & TOMAHAWKS

PAGE 4 SPIKE TOMAHAWKS- PART 2

Home
PAGE 2- SOME ORIGINAL OWNERS
PAGE 3 SPIKE TOMAHAWKS
PAGE 4 SPIKE TOMAHAWKS- PART 2
PAGE 5 THE IROQUOIS SPIKE TOMAHAWKS
PAGE 6 CELT FORM AXES
PAGE 7 HALBERD TOMAHAWKS
PAGE 8- TRADE AXES
PAGE 9 BISCAYNE TRADE AXES - PART 2
PAGE 10 TRADE AXES - PART 3
PAGE 11 HUDSON'S BAY CO. TRADE AXES - PART 4
PAGE 12 HAMMER POLLED TOMAHAWKS
PAGE 13 BELT AXES
PAGE 14 PIPE TOMAHAWKS
PAGE 15 PIPE TOMAHAWKS - PART 2
PAGE 16 PERIOD TOY TOMAHAWKS
PAGE 17- FAKES, MISTAKES & REPRODUCTIONS - PART 1
PAGE 18 FAKES, MISTAKES & REPRODUCTIONS & MARKS- PART 2
PAGE 19 FAKES, MISTAKES & REPRODUCTIONS- PART 3
PAGE 20 FAKES, MISTAKES & REPRODUCTIONS- SUMMARY
PAGE 21 HALF AXES
Page 22 HOW OLD IS IT?
PAGE 23 REFERENCES
PAGE 24 LINKS
PAGE 25 ABOUT IRON & STEEL, MISC.
PAGE 26 TRADE AXES AS WEAPONS
PAGE 27 -- PRESERVING YOUR COLLECTION
Page 28 AXES OF THE WORLD
PAGE 29 OTHER TRADE ARTIFACTS
PAGE 30 MORE FAKES-- WILD WEST SHOW, LANCES, WAR CLUBS, KNIVES, ARROWHEADS. AXES ETC.
PAGE 31 DOCUMENTING YOUR FINDS
PAGE 32 CONTACT /AUTHENTICATIONS
PAGE 33 FOR SALE; MY TOMAHAWKS & TRADE ARTIFACTS
PAGE 34 OTHER FUR TRADE ITEMS FOR SALE BY MY FRIENDS

This 6.5" long x 2" wide spike tomahawk with the spike and blade curved slightly downward is indicative of the 18th C. era.  It was reportedly found in PA.  Often the length of the spike (and amount of curvature) indicated the approximate age of it.  Longer & more curved meant earlier.  This curved arc form lent itself perfectly to the swinging arc of a blow.  This is probably 1750's-1770's period Iroquois.

Beautiful 18th C. style spike tomahawk 6.5" long
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images courtesy of ebay seller lionhart21a

View #2 Spike Tomahawk
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images courtesy of ebay seller lionhart21a

View #3 Spike Tomahawk
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images courtesy of ebay seller lionhart21a

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This crudely shaped spike tomahawk likely came from a local American or Canadian blacksmith.  This one came out of a PA estate with part of the haft still inside the eye.  Often blacksmiths would be assigned by the government to provide services for tribes as part of a treaty agreement.  Also there were many free trader entrepreneurs (legal & illegal)who took their blacksmithing skills to the frontier where it was so much in demand.  The double ears feature seemed to be a trait particularly common in the 18th C.

18th C. Spike tomahawk; 9.5"
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Here is another crudely formed spike tomahawk typical of the 19th C.   Then again the spike may have been damaged and repaired at one point.

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images courtesy of ebay seller lionhart21a

View #2
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images courtesy of ebay seller lionhart21a

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Heres an interesting shape where the blacksmith took pains to round the edges with a great deal of filing work.
 

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View #2 spike tomahawk
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View #3
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marks of drill and chisel and file can be seen in eye

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The Dolley family had found a corroding iron flat-spiked tomahawk-head, supposedly somewhere on Panther Run (aka Panther River) in the lakes region of Maine.   This authentic triangular flat leaf shaped
spike type tomahawk is rare although there are many reproductions that have been produced since the 1950's.  Although this image is just a surface scan of it, the shape is clear.  This kind of leaf shaped spike is rare but authentic examples do exist.  In Baldwin's 'Indian War Clubs of the American Frontier' a tomahawk excavated from a burial  shows a regular trade axe with a leaf shaped spike added to it.   Also there is an example in 'Swords and Blades of the American Revolution' by Neuman.

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image courtesy of author.

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At the bottom of this picture is another leaf shaped spike tomahawk from 18th C. --ex Dressler collection.

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As on many of these, the eye appears to have been first drilled out and then chiseled with a taper widening at the top so the handle does not fly off.

spike tomahawk
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View #2 spike tomahawk- top
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SPIKE TOMAHAWK EASTERN WOODLANDS LATE 18TH C.
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9.25

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Here is a very long spike tomahawk head 11.25" long.  The haft appears to be an old replacement.   The weight is 7.6 oz. for the head alone.  It is forged with beveled borders around the eye.  This looks too long to have been carried on a side of the waist but not at all to be carried on the back in a harness as some did.

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Heres one I hesitated putting up since it is so extrordinairy & I may catch some grief from those who would dismiss it as not the real thing.  The design is certainly readily recognizable as a really fine quality spike tomahawk but the length is what is so shocking.  It measures 13.87" long!  Yet the weight of the head  is only 12.7 ounces.  It is very similar to the above example in general shape, size and weight.   Blade width is 1.625", it has a squarish tapered eye with rounded corners & thin eye walls typical of other tomahawks.   It is obviously forged and shows the proper age & does not resemble any other known tool.  The spike and blade are steeled on the ends with the spike being square in cross section.  So the only criteria that this tomahawk does not fit perfectly would be it's extraordinary length.
 
I believe the longest spike tomahawk head published was one 11.625" long head by George Neuman in his excellent book 'Swords & Blades of the American Revolution'.   Early  tomahawks were experimented with so much that we sometimes see one of a kind specimens unique to themselves.  What we look for is a preponderance of evidence in favor of our ID.  Some spikes were curved so dramatically as to be thought by some to be unusable as a weapon, yet we know they were made & owned by Native Americans.    Spike tomahawks were carried on belts, but not like our waist belts. They were also worn on the back with a leather cross over strap, sometimes with a loop or sheath also.   I have spent many years trying to find every possible tool around the world that could be possibly confused with tomahawks but I would be remiss to say I have seen them all, so I have to remain open to that possibility.

extra long spike axe
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View #2
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This elaborately decorated Northeast spike tomahawk (1750-1800)is very atypical of most.  It is from the Splendid Heritage collection Warnock collection and undoubtedly was a presentation piece to a great Chieftain.  It is 8" wide X 17" with many stamped markings.  Maple haft is wrapped with silver bands.  Photo courtesy of Splendid Heritage website.

Spike axe from Warnock collection Splendid Heritag
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PHOTO COUTESTY OF SPLENDID HERITAGE WEBSITE

8.75" LONG SPIKE TOMAHAWK 18TH C.
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20" X 7.5". This is a ca. 1920 tourist./rez. spike tomahawk, maple sapling haft, with brass escutcheon pins (brass pins were available from mid 1870s on), with an early style square barbed wire holding it on Gliddon patent 1874. Head is cast iron that was then sanded smooth.  The twisted shaft shows lots of handling & was formed by a vine twisting around the sapling while it was growing.  There were many places selling Indian made tourist items throughout the West during the early 20th C.  There were also over 200 different Wild West shows that came and went during the early 20th C. 

ca. 1900-1920 reservation/tourist spike tomahawk
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     "I am a red man. If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man he would have made me so in the first place. He put in your heart certain wishes and plans, in my heart he put other and different desires. Each man is good in his sight. It is not necessary for Eagles to be Crows. We are poor . . . but we are free. No white man controls our footsteps. If we must die . . . we die defending our rights. "

Sitting Bull (1831?–1890)Chief (Oglala Sioux)
Statement, year unknown

 

(c) Copyright Mark Miller 1/29/09. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED--REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED WITHOUT PRIOR CONSENT