Weapon; Axe


About this object

A hafted iron axe in a wooden handle. The haft has carved linear and curvilinear decoration, mainly pakati (dog's-tooth notches) and haehae (grooves) and ridges, with diamond, rounded rectangle, spiral and loop motifs. The carving is different on each side. The blade has "W Gilpin" with two stars above it on one face, indicating that it was made by the edge-tool manufacturer, William Gilpin, Cannock, Staffordhire.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    W Gilpin
  • Place made
    Oceania: Polynesia: New Zealand
  • Date made
    19th Century
  • Materials
    Wood; Iron; Technique: Carved, Metal
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, World Cultures
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Mrs Irene Beasley, 1954
  • Collector
    Harry Geoffrey Beasley
  • Place collected
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    13.9 x 2.2 x 40.0 cm
  • Note
    In the New Zealand wars of the 19th century, Maori warriors used metal axes and muskets as well as more traditional weapons. The axe was used in the hand and was not thrown. Acquired by Beasley from Mr J Glarsher, 8 October 1910. The axe head said to have come from the Northesk sale, and 'these ... had been in his family not less than 45 years'. However, as the main Northesk sale was in 1924, the 1910 date may refer to the haft only. All indications are that the head and the haft were originally separate, from two different origins. William Gilpin was an edge tool manufacturer in Cannock in the late 18th - early 19th century. He founded works at Wedges Mill in 1790.
  • Related people
    Harry Geoffrey Beasley ( Collector); Irene Beasley ( Previous owner); W Gilpin ( Artist/maker); J Mr Glarsher ( Previous owner); Northesk ( Previous owner)


Previous owners

  • Irene Beasley

    Owned from: 1910-10-08
    How acquired: Gift
    Owned until: 1954
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • J Mr Glarsher

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchase
    Owned until: 1910-10-08
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Northesk

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Not known
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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