Antique 17th Century Polish Horsemen Battle Axe Czekan
Antique 17th Century Polish horsemen battle axe “Czekan” It consists of a very well hand-forged steel head with a flaring downward-curving axe blade, a central loop-shaped block with slender vertical grooves, the rear with a projecting shaped fluke with a square hammer, mounted on its original handcrafted wooden haft.
In the 17th century, the sharp cutting edges of axes were grounded as soldiers retired from military service and began using the Czekan as a walking cane, a sign of a veteran of military service.
Since the czekan and the nadziak (warhammer ) were deadly weapons, carrying them with sharp blades and warhammer (nadziak) with spike beaks as walking sticks was forbidden, except when the blade was grounded, and the spike beak was rolled up.
CONDITION: showing age and use, the steelhead is slightly pitted.
The wooden haft is original to the steelhead.
When the previous owner bought the axe, the haft and head were completely painted over with paint, which he stripped, causing the wooden surface to lose most of its old patina.
The haft is bent and twisted from being used as a walking stick.
There are two age-related splits in the wood near the steelhead, caused by the drying of the wood over the centuries and which were once filled with narrow strips of wood.
Overall length; 79.5 cm (31 ¼ inches)
The overall length of the head; 13 cm (5.1 inches)
A 17th century Polish czekan with a similar steel head from the collection of the Polish Army Museum (Muzeum Wojska Polskiego) in Warsaw, Poland, is published in the book "Zbiory Muzeum Wojska Polskiego w Warszawie" by Elzbieta Leszczyriska. Page 36. Please see the seventh picture in the listing.
We will also provide the buyer with photocopies of the pages from the mentioned references together with a certificate of authenticity.
We acquired this czekan and other antique Polish arms and armor from an old Canadian collection of Polish antiques and art. Please view our store contents to see other rare objects from this collection
Antique Polish arms and armor from the 17th and 18th centuries have always been considered the scarcest antique military objects, rarely appearing for sale and almost impossible to acquire.
Unfortunately, with the great demand for authentic Polish arms and armor from the 17th and 18th centuries in the last years, many reproductions appeared on the market, including swords, maces, war hammers, helmets, armor, and the Polish swords.
These reproductions are made by craftsmen in the USA, Poland, and other Eastern European countries. These objects, in many cases, are very well made and professionally aged, corroded, and damaged to look old, and to inexperienced collectors, they look just like authentic artifacts. But these reproductions have no historical or investment value.
This czekan is an example of a rare, authentic antique, 17th-century Polish war axe - czekan. We will provide the buyer with a copy of the page from the mentioned reference and a certificate of authenticity.