For the past two hundred years, right up to end of the days of "wooden ships and iron men" fire aboard ship was a dreaded occurrence.
But space on a wooden warship was at a premium. therefore many artifacts of on-shore life were downsized to fit the new reality. Swords became cutlasses, pikes became boarding pikes and axes became ... these.
First and foremost, it was a tool; a firefighting and damage-control tool. Grappling lines could be chopped loose, downed spars and lines cut away - and a fella could "repel boarders" if need be. Fact is: It was far more useful right where it lived unless someone couldn't find a cutlass to cross over with.
A case where it could be invaluable was in chopping free hotshot. http://plowshareforge.blogspot.com/2016/03/chill-hotshot.html
This oft-overlooked piece of our material heritage lives on in our world as the modern fire axe.
This example is based, insofar as possible on a photo of a USN axe from the War of 1812.
This axe has a turned ash or hickory handle, 23" long with a ball at the end.
A high-carbon steel head weighing about 24 oz.
The head/handle transition is reinforced by steel langets which also lock the head in place with three rivets.
It has an axe edge and a pick head opposite. with teeth cut into the "beard" of of the axe side to aid in pulling away debris.
$200 plus $15 shipping.
To order e-mail me.