A lovely and useful vintage garden mattock, made to be able to aid weeding and ground preparation at a garden level. The dimensions and one-sided nature of this particular item are not suited to really heavy work but should clear your borders nicely. This one has age, but is unbranded - we would estimate 1930's or 1940's. It has a pierced handle and leather hanging loop.
Size: Length is 71cm, blade length 11cm.
The mattock is a tool of some age, created to allow easy swinging of a horizontal blade set at 45 degrees to the long handle. The general shape has been found in Neolithic settlements, often made out of shed antlers. We tend to use ours from above our heads to between our legs. If doing this please keep your legs apart as one of these would make a serious mess of an ankle. The blade cuts into the soil at a 45 degree angle, sliding under the surface and cutting through roots. We use ours for clearing overgrown areas of the allotment and cutting brambles below the surface - it is a very satisfying and useful tool. Given the horizontal nature of the blade, mattocks are not made to swing from the side - this may result in the blade glancing off more rigid items.
Most mattocks these days resemble a pickaxe with a spike or axe type blade on one side and blade on the other. This version was invented in America at the start of the 20th Century and is commonly called a grub axe. Historically mattocks made from whale bone were used to separate whale blubber in Scotland. We would not recommend trying this at home, however big your pond might be.
Why not take a look at our other vintage garden tools while you are here - this is a constantly changing collection.