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Powerful and Scarce Greek Mycenaean Bronze Double-Ax

Powerful and Scarce Greek Mycenaean Bronze Double-Ax


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Greek: Bronze: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1276518
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 $4,675.00 
$4,675.00

This piece is a scarce Greek Mycenaean bronze double-ax head that dates circa 1400-1200 B.C. This piece is approximately 6.3 inches long, by 2.25 inches high near the end of each blade. This piece is very solid, as it was cast as one piece, and because of it's heavy weight, it was well served as a heavy battle ax. This piece also had added strength, as the inner shank design is "V" shaped, and is not a round circle as most examples of this type have. This "V" designed inner shank provided for added strength relative to it's attachment to the shaft, and this design made this a powerful weapon, as this design gave added leverage to the warrior while striking a blow. This design also points to the fact that this piece was likely made for battle, rather than being made purely as a votive object after the death of the warrior. However, there is a strong possibility that this piece not only may have served in battle, but it was also used as a votive offering as well. This weapon was the principle weapon of the Mycenaean Greeks and was probably used during the Trojan War. This type of bronze weapon is also scarce to rare, because bronze during this period was very valuable, and bronze objects that were damaged and/or had lost their utility were often melted down into another bronze weapon or object. The shape of this heavy battle ax may have originated in Crete with the Minoan culture, circa 2000 B.C., as double-ax head weapons and plaques have been excavated at Knossos. This shape may also refer to the Minoan bull-jumping cult, as the ends of the double-ax may have represented the horns of the bull. A number of votive gold double-axes, found in Arkalochori in Crete, are of the same shape as the example offered here. This piece has a beautiful dark green/blue patina with some heavy dark green/brown mineral deposits, and is in mint to superb "as found" condition with no breaks. This piece also has a relatively sharp blade edge, and there is little or no wear over the entire piece. For the type see "Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Bronzes in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston", by M. Comstock and C. Vermeule III, 1971, no. 1630. The example offered here is very analogous to the example sold in Sotheby's Antiquities, New York, Dec. 2002, no. 18. ($5,000.00-$8,000.00 estimates, $5,975.00 realized. See attached photo.) Another example was offered by Fortuna Fine Arts, New York, for $7500.00. (See the exhibit catalog "Venerable Traditions", published Nov. 2007, no. 26. See attached photo.) Another example was also offered by Charles Ede Ltd., London, published in Greek Antiquities, 2006, no. 37. (4,000.00 Pound estimate.) The attractive piece offered here sits on a custom display stand, and can easily lift off. Ex: Private Swiss collection, circa 1970's. Ex: Phoenix Ancient Art, Geneva and New York, circa 2000-2014. Inv.# P33-039-101514c. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: