Considered to be one of the most striking and beautiful archaeological finds from the Viking Age, the so-called Mammen axe was excavated from a 10th century burial mound in Mammen (near Viborg) in Jutland, Denmark. This unique piece lent its name to the eponymous Viking art style (approx. 950-1030 – a continuation of the Jelling style animal ornamentation, with the gradual phasing in of more vegetal and decidedly less geometric elements).
The male grave from which the sumptuous Viking axe and many other precious artefacts were recovered is dated to ca. 970/971 AD and believed to be the last resting place of a wealthy man of high, even princely status. The small iron axe is richly adorned with engravings inlaid with silver, niello and gold foil, which leads to assume that it was most likely a ceremonial or prestige weapon rather than a mere battle or throwing axe.
Whether the motifs that grace the axe head on both sides are of Christian or pagan influence remains open. The one side bears an intricate pattern of tendrils, which may either be a depiction of the Christian tree of life or the world ash tree Yggdrasil of Norse mythology. The other side features an interlaced, bird-like creature assumed to represent either a phoenix (as a symbol of Christ’s resurrection) or Gullinkambi, the rooster perched atop Yggdrasil who wakes the Einherjer in Valhalla every day and will crow to the gods and warriors to announce the beginning of Ragnarök.
The original piece as well as many more grave goods and textile remains from the so-called Mammen Find (Danish: Mammenfundet) can be admired at the National Museum of Denmark (Nationalmuseet) in Copenhagen.
The beautiful Viking axe we offer here closely replicates the highly detailed engraved motifs and patterns of the silver-inlaid original. The high carbon steel axe head has a 10 cm long, unsharpened edge and is mounted on a 41 cm long wooden shaft.
Please note that this early medieval axe is not a battle ready weapon. It is primarily designed as a collector's or decoration/display piece and is by no means suited for combat reenactment. Besides its quality as a collectible, it is also perfectly suited as a prop, e.g. to complete your costume, and will make your transformation into a proud warrior just perfect.
- Blade material: high carbon steel (not stainless!), unsharpened
- Handle material: ash wood
- Overall length (shaft): approx. 41 cm
- Axe head: approx. 15 x 10 cm
- Blade thickness: approx. 1 cm (approx. 0.5 cm before the edge)
- Shaft thickness: approx. 2.8 x 1.7 cm
- Weight: approx. 550 g
- Supplied WITHOUT sheath
Specs may slightly vary from piece to piece.
The steel used here is not rust-proof and might show slight surface tarnishing in places. We recommend you to maintain the blade on a regular basis, for example using Ballistol Universal Oil, which is ideally suited for steel care.