Distinct from smaller hand axes, two-handed ‘Danish’ axes were characteristic of viking elites and were the trademark weapon of the professional hearth-troops of the eleventh century Anglo-Danish kings – the huscarls. They appear to date from the tenth century onwards, so should not be used at earlier shows.
The larger Dane axeheads should be wedge-shaped, with either curving or semi-straight edges. Dane axeheads may be decorated with gold or silver wire inlaid into the axehead.
- Axeheads must be secure and should be shafted (from the bottom of the shaft) so that the axehead will not fly off the top
- Axeheads should not have sharp points – the tips should be curved to match a 5 pence coin
- Axe shafts must be smooth and unsplintered
Long axes in the Sagas
"When Kveldulf came aft to the stern-castle, he brandished high his battle-axe, and smote Hallvard right through helm and head, so that the axe sank in even to the shaft; then he snatched it back towards him so forcibly that he whirled Hallvard aloft, and slung him overboard."
- Egil's Saga, Chapter 27
"Steinthor Olafson rushed at him and struck him a blow on the neck just above his shoulders with a great axe, severing his head cleanly".
- The Saga of the People of Laxardal, Chapter 55