Windlass Steelcrafts Battle Ready
The Axe of Justice - 600981

The Axe of Justice

Overall Length: 35 7/8'' Blade: 6 3/8''
Retail Price:$139.00
Add Sharpening $15 (Adds Approx. 1 Week to Ship Time) - Learn More

In Stock!
4 lb 0.5

This Axe of Justice is based on an original English punishment axe dated, according to its inscription, to 1548. It follows the form common to many such axes, though this one is more embellished than many, no doubt as a showcase centerpiece to display the power of the authority that was punishing the unfortunates who lost their hands or other limbs to this brutal implement. The axe head is smaller than axes that were meant solely for beheading, so it is likely that the original axe was used to remove hands or limbs.

This axe has a head of high carbon steel that has been darkened for an antiqued finish. The axe socket has been securely pinned to a stained hardwood shaft that is surmounted with decorative gothic ferrules of steel. The pin has been ground flat to make it flush with the rest of the axe head socket. The engravings have been filled with a gold-toned filler to make it contrast against the dark steel.

One one side the axe is inscribed with the Cross bearing “INRI” (Iesus Nazarenus, Rex ludaeorum - ‘’Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews’’) Its date of 1548 flanks the cross. On the opposing side is the armorers mark engraved above a device of a crowned hand. Beneath it is scrollwork inscribed with an appeal to mercy: ‘’Gode Helpe Mei’’

When executions and other mutilating punishments were meted out in the Medieval Era, the axes or swords used were usually tools or standard weapons of the time. It was not until the Renaissance that swords and axes built specifically for the execution of criminals or prisoners became commonplace. In many of the older cities of Europe it is not uncommon for a Renaissance or later period Execution Sword or Axe to be on display in a municipal historical museum. These weapons are easily identifiable - not only are they typically larger than normal tools or weapons, but they are often heavily engraved with scrollwork prayers and appeals to Justice. These markings and the imposing weapon they were emblazoned upon were intended to be displayed before a prisoner and intimidate them into an early confession or cooperation.

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