Early in its active life span, the battle axe was a simple chopping/crushing weapon. Although a few might have decorated blades, by far most were simple effective tools of war. But by the 16th century the axe became a highly decorated weapon. People realized that the shape could be made quite attractive without effecting the efficiency of the weapon. The birthplace of the Renaissance - Italy - saw the development of some really beautiful battle axes. This axe, circa 1500, has a strong hardened steel blade with cutouts. The back spike is gracefully curved but has the proper angle to deliver the maximum force when the spike is used. A short steel spike does allow the axe to be used in a short, surprising thrust. Butt cap is steel. The shaft is hardwood, studded with brass tacks. Overall length is 28", a great length for one handed use. An impressive sidearm that combines both beauty and efficiency. Made by Windlass Steelcrafts®.