The Norwegian Battle axe

The Norwegian battle axe is often a beautiful piece of workmanship, seemingly strangely mounted on a crocked handle. This was actually pretty ingenious. With a straight handle, one gets a straight chop. With the crocked handle, one gets the force of the blow from a straight handle, but in addition get a sliding cut. These really were fearsome weapons, introduced in the early 1600’s when the Norwegian farmer was required to arm himself by law.

There were three types of axes – the A, B and C. The A-axe is virtually identical to the viking axe and is from my point of view the most aesthetic of the three. Most of these are plain, but some have beautiful engravings like the one on the picture. This one also has something pretty unique, the top quarter of the handle with the fillings for the blade are the original ones from the 1600’s.

The B axe is usually rather plain and has one flat side. They are hardly ever engraved (this is one of the very few exceptions). I don’t have this axe in my collection as of now, but “stole” the picture from the Norwegian museum’s Digitalt museum that regretfully only is in Norwegian and with very limited description of the items.

The C type axe are always decorated, but in no way as lavishly as the decorated A type often is.

I am unsure of why there are three distinct different types of axes and if they were made at the same time or if there was a development so that one type is older and the other newer. I would appreciate some answers on this. Pleas mail me at .