Axe / hammer

Anonymous1st middle of XX century

Gordailua, the Gipuzkoa Heritage Collection Centre

Gordailua, the Gipuzkoa Heritage Collection Centre
Irun, Spain

Dual-purpose tool, combining an oval-headed hammer, with a small axe with a very curved blade. The letters M and J are damascened on the central body. Given the size of the handle, it appears to have been intended to be used with one hand. The protuberance at the end was designed to prevent it from slipping during use. The hole would have contained a rope for hanging the tool or to prevent it from slipping out of the hand during use.

Dual-purpose tools, especially for striking and cutting, are common. What makes this piece exceptional is the damascening. This is a distinction normally reserved for ornamental pieces, valuable weapons, etc. Given that the decoration consists of initials, this was probably a personal tool, which would not have been shared. Although it was intended for a manual trade it would have been especially sought-after or used to make works of particular value.

It comes from the Provincial Government of Gipuzkoa’s Manuel Laborde Werlinden collection.


Leizaola, Fermín de. Burdina: Burdingintza eta forjaketa tradizionala : [Gipuzkoako Foru Aldundiaren Kultur Departamentuak Antolatutako Erakusketa] = Hierro : Ferrería y Forja Tradicional : [exposición...]. [San Sebastián]: Diputación Foral de Guipúzcoa, Departamento de Cultura, Educación, Deportes y Turismo. 1989. 90-100.

Inventory number: GFA-002487-001

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  • Title: Axe / hammer
  • Creator: Anonymous
  • Date: 1st middle of XX century
  • Physical Dimensions: 32x16x4 cm
  • Type: Tool
  • Medium: Iron, Wood