This fabulous piece was inspired by an archaic Greek axe carved in stone that was found in the palace of Malia on Crete, east of Knossos, and is dated to 1600 BC or earlier. At this time the leopard was used as a symbol to represent power and status, both with respect to rulers, priests and warriors. Leopard skins were commonly worn as symbols of rank, particularly among soldiers, and depictions of leopards are found in seals, on frescos, in metalwork such as cups and vases, and in weaponry. There may also be a connection between leopards and goddesses, representing their protective powers, or perhaps fertility. Depictions of goddesses and leopards are particularly common in ancient Greece.
I first ran across this design in the library at USC when I was in college. I have carried this design, as well as an ardent desire to create my own version of it, in my head for almost 25 years now!
The leopard's mouth was designed to be a bottle opener. However, at this point we do not know if the bronze teeth will hold up to steel bottle caps over time, but our first experiments have been successful.
Our Leopard Axe is cast in bronze, and comes on an ash handle set with brass studs. The axe is just under 6 inches (150 mm) long and just over 2 inches (55 mm) tall. It weighs a little more than a pound (525 grams). Available mounted on an ash axe handle, or as a separate axe head.
Original axe photo
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