Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 28th May 2016, 02:48 PM   #1
colin henshaw
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,348
Default Unusual African knife

This knife is a recent find. The blade is well forged with shallow fluting (neads a little cleaning).

The books I have with examples of this type, describe them variously as :-
Fan, Gaboon, war knife
Baule, execution knife
Liberia, Dan, Ngere, Kru, Grebo

Can anyone help with a definitive attribution ? Any photographs, comparable examples etc would be helpful...

Thanks in advance.
Attached Images
  
colin henshaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2016, 05:59 PM   #2
LJ
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 93
Default

Fischer & Zirngibl, Afrikanische Waffen, page 21, illustrate one that is very similar to this, both in the shape of the hilt and the blade. They have it down as Baule and a "cult knife with wood handle" .
LJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2016, 06:17 PM   #3
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 4,408
Default BAULE....

SEE http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=6508

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi; 28th May 2016 at 07:28 PM.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2016, 09:24 PM   #4
Ken Maddock
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Ireland
Posts: 104
Smile

Hi
I was underbider on this knife at the Bray auction
Are you another Irish collector?
Nice knife, I had to bow out on the bidding as I was more interested in the percussion pistol that followed , which I got.
Regards
Ken
Ken Maddock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th May 2016, 10:49 AM   #5
colin henshaw
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,348
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Maddock
Hi
I was underbider on this knife at the Bray auction
Are you another Irish collector?
Nice knife, I had to bow out on the bidding as I was more interested in the percussion pistol that followed , which I got.
Regards
Ken
Hi Ken
No, not in Ireland, I am based in London. Glad you stopped bidding


Regarding the knife, the Fischer & Zirngible book says Baule, the Zirngible & Kubetz "panga na visu" book says Liberia, Dan tribe etc and the Oldman 1906 catalogue illustrates an example saying Fan tribe, Gabon. So perhaps its a case of take your pick ??
Attached Images
  
colin henshaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th May 2016, 05:20 PM   #6
LJ
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 93
Default

I've just looked at the Pitt Rivers online catalogue, searching for Baule knife and for Gabon knife. Nothing under Baule, but they have one - which looks very similar to the one sold by Oldman (is it the same one?) catalogued as being from Gabon but with a query.

There seems to be nothing similar in the BM
LJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th May 2016, 10:28 PM   #7
VANDOO
(deceased)
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: OKLAHOMA, USA
Posts: 3,138
Thumbs up

IF THE PITTS RIVERS KNIFE HAS THE SCABBARD AND NOTES IT IS LIKELY THE ONE FROM THE OLDMAN'S CATALOG. ONE NEVER KNOWS AS SOMEONE MAY HAVE DECIDED TO THROW AWAY THE SCABBARD BECAUSE OF WHAT IT WAS MADE OF THUS THROWING AWAY SOME OF ITS HISTORY FOR ILLOGICAL PERSONNEL REASONS. THE EXAMPLE IN THIS POST ALSO LOOKS LIKE THE ONE IN THE CATALOG. SCABBARDS SOMETIMES GETS LOST WHEN THE ESTATE IS SOLD AS THE KNIFE IS NOT IN IT AND THE COLLECTOR NO LONGER PRESENT TO PUT THINGS RIGHT, OR THE BUGS GET IT. A NICE AND INTERESTING KNIFE WHATEVER ITS STORY MAY BE.
VANDOO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th May 2016, 10:43 AM   #8
LJ
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 93
Default

Just had another thought. William Oldman's ledgers of purchases and sales are in the British Museum, so they should be available at their study centre. At least that might lead you to who Oldman got his knife from, and thus why he thought it was from Gabon.
LJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st May 2016, 04:07 PM   #9
colin henshaw
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,348
Default

Thanks for the comments so far. Looking through the "panga na visu" book again, they have a photo of a native holding one of these knives. His dress with those leather ? hangings looks more West African than Fan...
Attached Images
 
colin henshaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st May 2016, 09:56 PM   #10
Martin Lubojacky
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Czech Republic
Posts: 774
Default

There is late 19th century group photo of "King Fla and his bodyguard" in the book "African Arms and Armour" by Christipher Spring. One of the men holds this short sword - which is described as a "sword commonly used by Kru people of Liberia".
Martin Lubojacky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st June 2016, 11:04 AM   #11
LJ
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 93
Default

So ... going back to the B.M. online database and searching for "sword Liberia" it turns out they do have a similar one to this. But it has an old label giving the provenance as Calabar (which is in modern-day Nigeria). Presumably, it was later catalogued as being from Liberia because of the photograph of King Fla and his bodyguard.

I wonder if these were widely traded in West Africa, ending up in Liberia, Nigeria, Gabon, Ivory Coast. If that is so, then where were they made? Does the shape of the hilt indicate a possible place of origin ?
LJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st June 2016, 07:53 PM   #12
tribalarms
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 26
Default

It is indeed a sword from the Kru people in Liberia.
tribalarms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd June 2016, 12:23 PM   #13
colin henshaw
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,348
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LJ
So ... going back to the B.M. online database and searching for "sword Liberia" it turns out they do have a similar one to this. But it has an old label giving the provenance as Calabar (which is in modern-day Nigeria). Presumably, it was later catalogued as being from Liberia because of the photograph of King Fla and his bodyguard.

I wonder if these were widely traded in West Africa, ending up in Liberia, Nigeria, Gabon, Ivory Coast. If that is so, then where were they made? Does the shape of the hilt indicate a possible place of origin ?
From the evidence available, my feeling is LJ is on the right track regarding these knives. Was in town yesterday and dropped by the B.M. Here are some images of the example they have on display.

Its a pity my knife doesn't have its sheath, they are good, sculptural objects in their own right.
Attached Images
    
colin henshaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.