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NOS, France to Texas in 1684

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Ernest DuBois, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. Ernest DuBois

    Ernest DuBois

    Mar 2, 2013
    At our gathering in France this year, among all the interesting stuff that goes on down there on the occasion, once again Phillipe showed up with something out of the archive he works at in Normandy. During the year he got a request from some museum in Texas, of all places, for help identifying a number of objects dug up or otherwise recovered from a ship wreck out there and more information from this side on the voyage of the particular merchant ship on its journey from Normandy to Texas. One of the pertinent pages I managed get my hands on from him covered these axes, so I pass it on here as something a bit off the beaten paths.[​IMG] [​IMG]
  2. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    Off topic somewhat, the excavation of that underwater shipwreck (La Belle) was called "one of the most extraordinary engineering feats ever associated with an archaeological excavation."

    "A double-walled cofferdam was built around the sunken ship in 1996, allowing archaeologists to pump water out of the wreck site and excavate La Belle almost as if it were on dry land."


  3. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    Really cool piece of history, Ernest! I don't understand how they concluded that different sized axes were made by different smiths.

    It appears the ships navigator didn't check his sextant often. Or maybe they were avoiding a storm.
    FortyTwoBlades likes this.
  4. Ernest DuBois

    Ernest DuBois

    Mar 2, 2013
    Steve Tall, once again has filled in that missing context. Thanks for doing it too Steve. This coffer method A bit unsettling I would have thought.
    Well, not enough gets passed on to us in that one page for accepting such a conclusion on the face of it for sure Square_peg Though it is a great value to my mind having such specific information, these dates, how the axes got transported even some contradiction n confusion about what in god's name they were doing in that place on that ship to begin with. I must make one correction looking back on the map which is the ship began not even in Normandy - the place where Phillipe lives - but even south of there nearer the south.
  5. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    Chapter 27 (Trade axes and knives) of this book goes into lots of detail about the axes, such as: packed in the same cask were axe heads with different makers marks, an indicator that they were procured from different sources before packing (or re-packing somewhere).


    link to Chapter 27:
    La Belle: The Archaeology of a Seventeenth-Century Vessel of New World ...
    edited by James E. Bruseth, Amy A. Borgens, Bradford M. Jones, Eric D. Ray, 2017

    Another book link, which has the pages that Ernest posted:
    La Belle, the Ship That Changed History
    Bullock Texas State History Museum, 2014
    Square_peg likes this.
  6. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    Good stuff, Steve. Interesting that the LaBelle axes lacked steel bits while the later trade axes found in Canada had them. I also got a chuckle over seeing an 'M' marked axe. Those things have been popping up for centuries it seems. lol
    Moonw likes this.
  7. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    LOL indeed. :thumbsup:
  8. flexo


    Mar 14, 2013
    " mais que diable allait-il faire dans cette galère?" (Molière les fourberies de scapin)
  9. Drum4fun


    Mar 21, 2018
    Can you imagine the stones involved in sailing a loaded vessel of that size from
    Normandy to Texas. Talk about amazing...and dangerous. :thumbsup:


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