The history of the Mammen axe.

The history of the Mammen axe.

February 14, 2020

One of our most popular axes is the Mammen axe. This striking piece is based on a historical find and we often get asked a bunch of questions about its origins and authenticity. If you own this axe, one thing is for sure, people are going to ask you about it, so we wanted to put together some information about this superb find!



We first came across this axe while researching historical finds and Viking art styles for upcoming production items. As soon as we came across the Mammen axe we knew we wanted to stock it, it is by far the most exciting artefact found from the Viking age. Uncovered at a Viking age chamber tomb in the small village of Mammen in Denmark this axe was found along with what is now known as the Mammen horde. It was forged in the 10th century from Iron with silver inlay for decoration. The style of the etching is called Mammon, named after this axe head. The style on the axe head was relevant from bout 900-1000AD. This wonderful crossover period means this crossover piece can be pinned to both pagan and Christian styles.

Let's take a closer look at the design of the axe and break down the information that can be gathered from the detailing. On the first side, there is a very apparent tree motif, this could easily be interpreted as the Christian Tree of Life or the pagan tree Yggdrasil its branches spreading out over the whole axe face, reaching towards the eye of the head. On the second side of the axe is a bird style image – perhaps the great rooster Gullinkambi or possibly the Christian Phoenix. In Norse mythology, Gullinkambi sits on top of the tree Yggdrasil. Its caw will wake the Viking warriors every morning at the beginning of Ragnarok. The Phoenix is a Christian mythological animal and a symbol of re-birth.

Our design of this axe was made to embody the tree aspect of this amazing find and replicate the overall look while keeping the cost low enough for us to sell them at an affordable price.

This beautiful piece can be found in out axes section here:

We hope you find this information useful and if you have any further questions please contact us via the "Contact us" page of the website and well do our very best to help!

Tom Ive
Old ways Wares

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.