Objects Database

Salewa Alpine Hammer

Accession Number


Object Name

Salewa Alpine Hammer




Hermione Cooper

Accession Date


Brief Description

Salewa ice hammer. Metal shaft with blue plastic grip. Square hammer head, serrated pick. Metal ring on bottom of shaft with red nylon leash through it. Scraps of red paint on head.


metal, plastic, nylon


Shaft 26(l) x 10(cir)cms. Head 18.5(l) cms. Hammer head 2(w)cms.

Number Of Objects


Inscription Description

Inscription on head reads "NO. 279 SALEWA DBP MADE IN W. GERMANY"


silver, blue, red, brown



Object Production Place

W. Germany


Salewa began life in Munich way back in 1935 when a man called Josef Liebhart, registered a corporation for Saddler & Leather Wares (Sattler, Leder, Waren in German) using the first two letters of each word to get the name of his company - SA+LE+WA. Unsurprisingly perhaps, leather products such as footballs, saddle bags and leather rucksacks were the company's staple products in the early days and we assume they made products for the German war machine during World War II, though as is often the case, this period doesn't appear in the company history.
The Salewa adjustable crampons appeared in the 1960's and were a huge success ( you'll find a pair elsewhere in the collection) - the company's biggest ever.
Big changes were afoot in the 1960/70's as mountaineers moved away from their traditional wooden ice axes, which they used to cut steps on steep ground, to more technical tools which allowed them to climb ever steeper ice without hours of laborious step cutting.
Pitons were very much in vogue at this time so ice hammers were also piton hammers and to embrace the two codes many companies referred to these tools as Alpine Hammers which helped with the marketing since it conjured up images of long sunny days in the Alps.
Salewa were one of the first to market this kind of hammer around about 1970, we reckon, when one of them would have cost you £7.00. Technology was moving quickly back then and this kind of tool rapidly went out of fashion and became a collector's item. We're very pleased to have 'collected' it though where it came from we are not sure!

Acquisition Date


Condition Check Date



Spectrum : UK Museum documentation standard, V.3.1 2007



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