Axe, Ceremonial

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A small, decorative ceremonial axe, with a wooden hilt and engraved head. The wooden handle is embellished with silver decoration, which are shaped in curving, floral patterns. The axe is presented in a wooden box with orange and white cord decoratively binding the top.
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This sturdy silver axe may look like a elegant weapon, but in fact it has a surprising connection to the Maui A oil drilling tower. The Maui A tower was built by the Nippon Kokan Kabushiki Kaisha (NKK) steel manufacturers, at their Tsu shipyard. Although the tower is not technically a ship, it received the same ceremonial farewell as a new ship departing Japan would receive. This included having this silver axe made specifically for the ship, which was used to cut the rope which held the tower to the shipyard.

After the ship had been cut through, traditionally the axe was gifted to the owner of the ship. For the Maui A tower, the axe was gifted to Warren Freer, who at the time the axe was gifted in 1975 was the Minister for Trade and Industry.
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