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unidentified shovel


Kenny Andrew

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Hi Guys, this time I need your help, I'm hoping Fritz or Gildwiller will know, but if not I welcome anyone else who might know what nationality this shovel is? It has me beat, initially I thought it was British, then Japanese but can't seem to find an exact match.      

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Not the standard British constuction, but certainly relating to WW1 - a souvenir of the period. Probably not French,
Looks like a standard entrenching tool, but too light in construction, similar to the German version, but not with pointed top. Too short for a pioneer shovel.
Have to pass here, sorry.

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Hard to judge size from a photo - but is the handle about 23 inches long and made from beech?

E

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Beech or Buchenholz was used on most material like this and rifles.

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Hi Fritz, I hope you are well.

you are correct, beech is used for most stocks and tools as it is very dense, very plentiful, very straight grained and very cheap compared to a wood of similar properties like walnut. The reason I ask is twofold - if it is from the Pacific then it will likely not be beech but secondly the length of the shaft might be a clue.

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It has a World War I assocation, having the Allied flags, Belgium, France, England, Russia, Japan, and before 1917, as the US flag ist not on it, so it would not be from the Pacific, most likely European.

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What I was meaning is that the origin of the spade is maybe a red herring- I think it is British and matches some other examples.

However, I think what it represents is a mid conflict (about 1934) pact trophy/ commemorative piece against Russia - notably at a time when Finland and Japan enjoyed a close relationship as both were starting a decline in their relationship with Russia.

Just an educated guess.

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It is certainly before 1917, as the Russian flag was abolished during the revolution in Russia.

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Hi Guys, thought this one would get you going, as it has me stumped too, good point Eddie about being in between the wars, I thought this was a possibility too, but as Fritz says the Soviets abolished the flag in 1917, mind you the White Russians continued to use it until 1923 so could it still be between the wars?  It's also the Russian navy flag so were they active after WW1?  I think the first thing we need to work out is the nationality of the shovel then we can see how the flags would fit in. I still think it could be British as it was found here, however British shovels tend to have T shaped handles apart from Pioneer shovels but these tend to be much longer. I'll measure the length of the handle tomorrow when I return to work :thumbsup:        

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Hi Guys, the handle appears to be beech but hard to tell as it seems to be stained or varnished.  The length of the wooden handle is 16 inches and the whole spade is 23 and a half inches.  

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The shovel looks pre-WW1 construction, pre-WW1 US shovels have a similar construction (see image below), but different shaped handle. Sorry, not an expert on these. The flags have me curious, England, France, Belgium, Japan and Russia. Japan stated using the rising sun flag in 1870, Russia started using the white and blue for their Navy from 1712 to 1918. I have read that this flag was also used by the he Russian Liberation Army (ROA) in WW2.  The shovel looks similar to Japanese models from what I have seen. 

Product36292 (1).jpg

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Thanks Gildwiller , yes it's very similar to the US one you posted, perhaps the handle has been replaced but it does look like it's been there a long time. I read about the ROA too but then the British flag would not be on it. This one is a real mystery, but I think most likely WW1 period, pity we could not easily identify the nationality of the spade.     

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Yes, unfortunately most nations used similar patterns or purchased spades from other countries. Civilian models were also pressed into service. No markings that you can make out on the metal or wood parts?

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No markings or stamps at all unfortunately 

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