Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Italian Army Pick Axes, circa 1950's to 1980's, Armored Vehicle Mounted Pick Mattock

Recently there has been a "ton" of Italian military surplus gear showing up all over the surplus markets.  I've been picking up a few choice pieces here and there, and just recently added two Italian Army pick axes to the collection.

These two picks are most likely from the early post-war era, circa 1950's through the 1980's.

One of the picks appears to be from the early post-war days, possibly the 1950's, and the second appears to be from a later date, possibly the 1970's.  This estimate is based on style, wear and construction  of the pick heads and handles.

These picks appear in nearly all of the old field photos of Italian Army armored vehicles and tanks taken in the 1970's through the 1980's and sometimes into the 1990's.  They mostly appear mounted on the sides of the Leopard Tanks, and on the various Puma wheeled armored vehicles. 

Italian Army Leopard tanks 1972

Italian Army Puma 4x4

The "oldest" of the two picks, has the roughest handle.  The handle is heavy hardwood, that at one time had the end broken off.  Instead of replacing the handle, it appears that it was just repainted, over and over, and continued in service.

The head on this older pick has smoother lines, indicative of the older forgings.  

The head has been painted black at one time, and green at other times.  Great patina!

The "newest" of the picks, has a much cleaner handle, with a rounder profile to the wood.  The older handle is more oval with flat sides.

The head on this newer pick has sharper angles and is not as "streamlined" as the older pick.  Based on this style, I would date this pick later, in the 1970's and newer era,  Just a guess of course.

These picks are full-sized and heavy!  I love adding these pioneer tools to the collection when they can be clearly attached to such wonderful old armored vehicles and can be seen in the old photos.  It really makes the research easier that way!

Let's take a closer look.

1 comment:

Mr. Derp said...

Very nice! I love how you can see multiple layers of use/repair on them both. Can't decide which one I like best. Great blog you got here.