These are original mid to late 18th century manufacture, head and handle.
Small axes like this were carried by 18th century colonial American farmers, militia, trappers, and Native Americans as tools and weapons. In the 1750's newly formed British Light Infantry units in colonial America were issued belt axes, carried below the bayonet scabbard on cross belts, replacing a sword, or in their packs. American patriots often carried them, having discovered their usefulness for fighting in wilderness areas during the French and Indian (Seven Years 1756-63) and Revolutionary Wars (1775-83).
I located a very small cache of antique military tomahawks in centuries old storage in the old United Kingdom from an over-run, unfulfilled or canceled 18th century supply order from British colonial merchants in America. They are hand forged with a beautiful age darkened rosewood 16" carved teardrop sectioned handle and exactly the same in construction and form as products from the Philip Skene Foundry in colonial New York State, as well as other colonial merchants. Skene was a British army officer stationed in colonial America during the French & Indian (Seven Years) Wars, then became a prosperous merchant, owning a sawmill, iron foundry, and most of the property in his small town in upstate New York. At the start of the Revolutionary War, he lost his assets and returned to England in 1777. He purchased a Colonels rank, and served as aide to British General Burgoyne through the war. Skene supplied weapons like this, spike tomahawks, axes, cannonballs, and other forged products to the British and to colonial militias from 1759 until 1776.
An axe of the exact same type was found in the archaeology of VA ship Dragon 1777-80), sunk by traitor Benedict Arnold's British troops. That one was attributed to the Zane foundry in Frederick County VA.
After collecting and studying 18th century blades for many years, I believe it is accurate to state that these axe heads were sold all over colonial North America just prior to the Revolution in 1775. Handles were locally fitted, it seems. Manufacture of these axes stopped about that time because of import and sales restrictions on British merchants in America at the start of hostilities that year. These were part of the inventory that belonged to the maker at that time. These are mid-1700's axes and handles destined for colonial America. You will receive the item photographed for this listing.
Theoriginal antique4 1/2" long head is a duplicate of known 18th century Skene (NY) and the Zane (VA) foundry tomahawk heads. It has not been cleaned or sharpened and is coated in its original old grease.
The last few photos show similar Skene, Zane, and Pike (1738 TX) foundries hatchets with original handles in my collection for comparison. Other items in photos are not for sale. To further support my research, you can "Google" Philip Skene tomahawk for more photo images and information on this enterprising Revolutionary War Loyalist, merchant, and soldier.
The original rosewood handle is soaked in old grease with some staining. I recommend Kramer's Best Antique Improver for cleaning and restoration.
A flat, wide handled variation also exists.
Sorry to say that because of rising overseas shipping costs my costs of acquisition and item prices have gone up. You may see similar axes on in $0.99 starting offer sales. These are also original, purchased from me, but I sell only at a no-drama competitive set price. On all $0.99 sales, be aware who you may, or may not be offerding against. Those are not my sales! Any time you offer on low-ball sales, look at actual offerding histories for that item. It will show you what percentage of a buyers monthly offers went to the seller's sales. buyer names are hidden but each can be uniquely identified by their individual response rating numbers. High percentages of offers with one seller may indicate something unusual, especially with the presence of multiple small "feeler" offers that a shill buyer will make gauging the minimum offer needed to offer up the price without actually winning. Some have this down to a science, with numbers of individual cohorts monitoring the offers.
Most of the carved handles are gone, and only a few flat handles remain. The good news is this. These were stored in an ancient warehouse, neatly stacked in a square pile. The ones on top were sold and the remaining few, toward the bottom of the stack are in the best condition, preserved in original 18th century grease, protected by those stacked above from years of dust. The wood is beautiful and age darkened, butbe careful in handling this chemical preservative as it is ancient and bad smelling.
The new tomahawk pictured in the last photo with the antique one of this type with flat handle is for comparison only. It was hand forged by seller zacbucwalte0, a skilled craftsman from Lancaster PA who has an eye for creating quality forged blades of all types. Please check his listings.
Please study the photos carefully for visible condition. Because of the risks of loss or damage I do not accept returns on one of a kind artifacts like this. I do stand behind the originality and authenticity of my items if you contact me directly.
I will supply a signedLetter Of Authenticitywith each purchase. Enjoy the photos and thank you.
Titles of Distinction