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Early Edward Elwell Axe Head number mystery

Bernard Drage asks whether any  member can throw any light on this early Elwell axe head, which he has re-hafted and renovated.

6 Lb Axe 1

The numbers on the butt do not comply with any of the numbers in the reprinted Edward Elwell catalogue of 1867-75, No's 225 and 255 being the nearest. The Axe Head, Rounding Felling, most resembles the pattern no. 2150 as illustrated in the 1964-65 Elwell catalogue, as available to TATHS members.

General description.

The top of the blade and the eye are in a straight line. i.e. the blade does not go upward in a curve or straight line.

6 Lb Elwell Axe Head

The bottom of the blade falls in a definite curve (not straight) away from the eye.

On the butt of the head there appears to be six numbers. (see photo).

255 is very clear 3255 is also fairly readable, the top of the 4 is missing if it is a 4, but 343255 is a bit of a guess due to bad distortion caused by using the butt as a hammer. I.e. the usual abuse!!!!

Elwell Axe 6 Lb


Stamped or Cast on the blade is,

WEDNESBURY (in a downward arc).
6 (6 Lbs). (actual weight 5.5 Lbs 10% lost in sharpening?).

All pretty standard apart from WARRANTED, (This appears on many early hand saws), which Bernard beleives to  indicate earlier manufacture.

Possibilites are there is another catalogue issue or issues with number changes or the Axe Heads were a special order. Bernard has come across this before with a hammer head made for the Indian Army, by Arnold & Sons London, who had their own forge but according to their catalogue only made human and vetinary surgical instruments.

The numbers were stamped in at a later date and nothing to do with Elwell's.

It's over to the members please!!!!


Bernard Drage.

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