Historic York County York, PA United States 717.502.1281
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$ 4,500

Rare Pair of Fireman's Axe Parade Torches, 1860-1880

Origin United States
Period Pre 18th Century
D. 1.5 in;
D. 3.81 cm;
Creation Date 1860-1880
Description Pair of fireman's axe parade torches with traditional wooden axe handles and the heads made of tin acting as receptacles to hold lamp oil. Cloth wicks protrude from the back of each axe head. Made ca 1860-1880. Excellent early black painted surface. Cut nails (and one screw) affix the heads to the handles. Very rare and boldly visual.

Most political campaigns of the mid-late 19th century involved rallies that were accompanied by torch lit parades. This form is known but very unusual and it would be next to impossible to assemble a matched pair, even more so with like surface. A similar form is documented on p. 31 of "Political Campaign Torches" by Herbert Ridgway Collins (former Curator of Political History at the Smithsonian), 1964, Smithsonian Press, which he dates to the 1880's. These two are different than the example shown by Collins, in that the axe heads are the actual receptacles for the oil. The example of this basic style in the Collins text is wood and the torch was an addition. Two examples of battle axes--a different form--are also illustrated by Collins.

Primary Color: black
Earliest Date: 1860
Latest Date: 1880
Styles / Movements Folk Art
Dealer Reference Number fcs-099
Incollect Reference Number 98837
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