French 2nd Empire Sappers Axe

 A very large and heavy Sappers Axe, used by the Sappers of the French Foreign Legion. As such these soldiers were given the most dangerous jobs in terms of siege and embattlement work, and their work as combat engineers required the use of these strong axes for explosive laying and fast construction. This example has a huge sharp blade, and very thick rear spike. Attached simply with two large screws over a brass plate to the thick woden stock. The handle of strong wood retains much of its original black laquering, worn by hands to the grip area through use. The bottom is mounted with a brass ferrule to reinforce the wood with the typical bossed decoration of this period. Good condition, early 19th century