By Barry Craig
This mystery object has been donated to the South Australian Museum. The donor obtained it at a bric-a-brac shop so knew nothing about its provenance.
It is 41 cm long, the handle is a heavy hardwood 5 cm diameter, the diorite stone is socketed into the handle and is not an axe head, but blunt, as for a club or pounder. There is a bird carved at the proximal end. The binding is a weathered two-ply sennit cord.
I’ve circulated the image to many colleagues and no-one has been able to identify it. Please contact me if you can throw light on this interesting object: