Primitive antique wooden hammer or mallet with natural handle and worn burr wood head caused by years of use. The handle is likely made of hickory or oak and the head of mallet is probably composed of walnut, oak, chestnut or other hard wood wood (none of these wood types have been formally confirmed). This style and construction of mallet would have been used in the 1600s, 1700s and early 1800s for very specific functions by a craftsman or tradesman in construction, stonework, wood carving, leather work or some types of metal work to assist in hand production. The wear on its burl head suggests it was used to hit a small headed punch, chisel, peg or gouge probably about one inch across. A smaller tool head would have produced a deeper and more focused wear pattern on the mallet and a larger tool head measuring over 2 inches across would not concentrate and create the wear pattern observed (would not be as dished).
In addition, there are a few original facets still evident on the mallet head that suggest what the head may have looked like when it was new. That is, the mallet head may have been covered with panels or flat facets cut vertically and running parallel the handle with each face measuring about 3/4 to 1 1/4 inches wide and about 4 to 4.5 inches long. The last photo has a pen pointing to a section of a flat panel still well preserved and flanked by other panels sections or flat facets.
Today, this mallet is oval rather than perfectly round, but this may be due to heavy use along just opposing sides. And this mallet head has never been bound with iron straps like barrel hoops. Also, this mallet has no smell or odor and comes from smoke free homes. The simple handle is merely a well selected natural stick of hickory or similarly strong wood with only the bark removed. The handle has been set in the maul head using a thin wood wedge and then reinforced over subsequent decades with a wrought or early cut nail and finally a threaded iron screw used for wood. A pen points to the head of the nail in a close-up photo (see second to last photo where a pen points to the head of the nail). Many handles dating after 1840 were commercially produced and have been purposely shaped and sanded for easier gripping. There are no hand saw cuts on any parts of the mallet or its handle and the faceted faces on the burl head were cut with a cleaver, small ax, small carpenter’s adze or broad chisel. The entire mallet weighs about 2.5 lbs and its full length measures 12 inches long including both head and handle.
A comparison of the mallet listed here to other mauls and mallets documented in tool reference guides places it before 1850 and more likely from the 1700s or early 1800s (see Conover Hill’s ‘Antique Tools: an illustrated value guide’ published 1975 by Bill Schroeder, Collector Books, Paducah Kentucky, particularly pages 86 to 89; see also Eric Sloan’s ‘A Museum of Early American Tools’ published by Ballantine Books, NY in 1964, see pages vi, vii and 23). Certain tinsmith mallets, carpenter mallets, wheelwright mallets, stone cutters mallets and mauls are shaped differently from the mallet shown here. About the only mallet shown in these two reference guides that look exactly like the mallet offered here is merely labeled ‘burl mallet from about 1800' (see Hill’s ibid: pgs 86-87). If any viewer knows more about this specific type of burl mallet, kindly drop me an email - thanks. And as always, this antique American burl mallet also comes with my Docs Antiques 100% satisfaction guarantee or you may return it using my return policy for a refund (see full Return Policy details farther below).
SIZE: This mallet weighs about 2.5 lbs and measures 12 inches long when including the handle (see all photos). The maximum height of the burl mallet head is about 5 1/4 inches long whereby leaving the exposed portion of the handle at about 6 1/2 inches long. Also, the oval burl head measures about 5 1/2 inches across along its broadest diameter and narrows to about 5 inches (or 4 5/8 inches) along its opposite minimum diameter. This is a wonderful primitive burl mallet that is perfect for displaying on a shelf, mantle or among other American tools from 150 to 250 years ago and will certainly capture attention in any setting.
CONDITION: This mallet is in very good condition with no cracks, major damage or defects other than wear from actual use. The mallet has no smell or odor and comes from smoke free homes. If you place your nose right on it, you will find that it is has a faint smell of wood and nothing else. This mallet and its original handle exhibit no repairs and no restorations. Of course, if the buyer is not 100% satisfied, then she/he may return this antique American mallet for a refund (see our refund policy noted below).
SHIPPING: All US mainland buyers pay $13.90 for well packed and insured USPS Ground (this is an estimated savings of about $1 to $3 since insurance and tracking are also INCLUDED in the above quoted amount for all mainland US addresses). There is a faster shipping option also offered (see Shipping menu for Priority Package). No handling or packing fees are ever charged and fragile items will be double packed for maximum protection. All international buyers will pay only the exact shipping costs for all verifiable locations outside the continental US mainland. We only use the USPS for International shipping to reduce broker fees and some Custom’s charges when an item is over 100 years old. We always encourage the International buyer to select an International shipping option that also provides insurance against loss or damage, and ask the International customer to send us their address for an email quote covering all insured International shipping options to your location. To date, we have shipped fragile items to 27 countries around the globe and have not had any items lost or broken, however this fact does not guarantee that no postal mishandling will ever occur in the future. Also, please note that International import duties, taxes and other charges are not included in the item price or shipping costs and these additional charges are the Buyer's responsibility. We do offer a petition for VAT relief on the behalf of the buyer which may help reduce certain import taxes should your country allow such petitions for items over 100 years old. Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to purchasing this item -- thanks.
RETURN POLICY: Satisfaction and peace of mind are guaranteed for all Docs Antiques Ruby Lane listings -- please refer directly to our Service Pledge and our Return Policy for full details. And this means that if the buyer is unhappy with the purchase, then she/he may return it by sending the item back undamaged and post marked within fourteen days of original receipt for a refund (certain shipping costs are non-refundable). Items damaged by shipping in the US are covered by insurance and while this rarely happens because we double pack, we will gladly help you file your insurance claim should it ever be necessary (we have not had any claims for damage or loss in over seven years). Of course, never send an item back that has been damaged by shipping since that will void the original insurance. Instead, contact us for help and we will gladly assist.
PAYMENT OPTIONS: We accept checks on US Banks (no temporary checks, all checks must have 9 digit routing code; item ships after check fully clears), USPS money orders, PayPal, or contact us with your verified address for more options. If you wish to use a credit card by way of PayPal, that option becomes available after you submit a Ruby Lane purchase order (see Terms of Sale for additional information). Once submitted, a PayPal icon will appear at the bottom of this listing and then you may proceed from there if you wish to pay via PayPal. Thanks for looking and do come back and visit again when you have the time.
Docs Antiques has the lowest prices (apples to apples) or email us and we'll try to do even better!
Docs Antiques offers specials every week with over 67% of our items DISCOUNTED for September, 2016.