This rare French Acheulian prehistoric CLEAVER hand axe was fashioned by Homo erectus (H. heidelbergensis), the first humans to occupy Europe. The cleaver is identified by its broad perpendicular cutting edge rather than a pointed or rounded tip. Cleaver handaxes are SCARCE in European sites of the Acheulian Period and are much more rare than those found in Africa of the same era. This is a spectacular specimen of the finest workmanship. It possesses an ingenious flaked curved proximal end for fitting perfectly in the web of the hand when held. A "turtle-back" raised center is the result of flaking from all edges, on ones side. This protruding side was intelligently intended to serve as an effective finger grip when the axe is held and functions in EITHER HAND.
The Acheulian Tradition was the predominant tool technology of the Homo erectus people in Europe currently dating back as far as 900,000 years ago. Fine quality European Acheulian hand axes are far more rare than their Saharan counterparts and often move swiftly, from one private collection to the next as many sites are now destroyed, built over or protected. In the past decade, European auctions have routinely set records for the highest prices realized on spectacular examples of Prehistoric European artifacts like this. Finest grade specimens are so few in number while the buyer market continues to expand and chase after the best material with no apparent price ceiling in sight. Nevertheless, the prices STILL, are a paltry comparison to much of the more mature rare collectibles on the market and Paleolithic artifact prices still really don't reflect the substantially higher rarity of these artifacts. As ever-increasing buyer demand continues to pursue the best pieces, the actual number of this material is sobering and we are likely to see prices easily rise ten-fold on top-grade specimens, in the next several years. The words "undervalued" and "collectible" are seldom found together in today's world but the realm of European and African Paleolithic artifacts is one where you can still find an emerging market and one of the greatest promises for future appreciation.
Displaying a remarkable mottled gray and cream patinated flint, this is a MUSEUM-CLASS Acheulian CLEAVER biface handaxe. From a very old former French collection. Today, digging for new specimens is forbidden and has been for decades with most of the best pieces being found in the first half of the last century. Finding an exquisite piece like this ONLY comes from coveted old collections in Europe and hand axes like this usually move from one collection to the next in private collector circles, rarely making it out of the country. FINEST CONDITION AS ORIGINALLY MADE IN PREHISTORY! NO REPAIR and NO RESTORATION. Very highly recommended! No Paleolithic collection should be without representative tools of Europe's first humans!
WARNING: This specific specimen possesses a fine prehistoric patina and mineral deposits. Such traits are missing in the fake tools being passed off as genuine tools by fraudulent and/or uninformed dealers selling in auctions, online, at shops and shows. The market is currently awash in fakes and ancient debris rock shards sold as genuine Paleolithic tools. Make sure you get an unconditional certificate of authenticity and know your dealer is knowledgeable AND informed.