Hello! I'll try to clarify things a little!
This is definitely a Mdina "Fish" vase. The signature is most likely to be that of Joseph Said. (His signature is pretty illegible). Michael Harris' signature is small, neat and easily read. I do not know of a Boffo ever signing a piece, but if there is one, keep away, IT'S MINE!!!! :twisted:
As far as I know, (info from Lesley Jackson), Mdina made what were called "Fish" vases and "Lollipops". (no mention of any weapons)
The Fish vases were meant to look like Manta rays, from above, and are the ones where the casing is applied heavily to both sides of the vase, with strapping crossing over, like this one. The way the shoulders are finished off on this one are fairly typical of Said. Michael Harris' ones tend to have more sloping shoulders than bumpy, but these are all individual hand made pieces, and there is no hard and fast rule. (I'm not shooting you down about anything, David!). Lollipops are the rounded ones, fully cased.
However, I have seen certain particular lollipops described as fishes. These are the very big, flattened and faceted ones with three colours internally.
I also have a round vase, but it has strapping crossing over it, fish style.
Mark Hill has told me he thinks he may be responsible for describing these as axeheads, a very accurate description, and one I do not think will ever go away! I believe it is the axehead description that has spawned "mallethead" and "hammerhead" to attempt to describe other shapes along the same sort of theme.
The signature will add value to this piece, which is very nice indeed. Personally, I like these brown fish vases the best. I don't know why.
They're doing quite well on eBay at the moment. I do not think a reserve of Â£150 would be unreasonable.