From the collection of: Iain Norman


19th century - likely Bornu regions or Hausa


Pommel is brass and appears to be of cast construction, shows great age and patina with holes due to age evident. Globular and weighty provides excellent balance. Pommel is capped with a bronze Egyptian 5 milliemes coin from either 1938 or 1943 (the only years with the scalloped edges), a later addition to the sword as evidenced by the obvious lack of patina on the end of the tang in contrast to the rest of the sword. This late modification is also born out by the shortness of the hilt and leather work.

Blade is massive, almost triangular. This form is often associated with high status pieces owned and wielded by figures of importance in the military and palace structures. No markings or fullering what so ever. Tip form is not due to sharpening but forged precisely.

Pitting on the blade and general patina, coupled with pommel patina indicated a very old example of a high quality takouba likely belonging to a chieftain and passed down through the generations.

Wide blades of this general profile can be see in period images of the tail end of the Bornu regime in Dikwa as well as Hausa city states. If the coin was added in the 1940s I would not be surprised. Anglo-Egyptian Sudan was still in existence and bordered on French Equatorial Africa. A not unlikely area for Egyptian currency to appear. The coin was probably added as pure decoration and in keeping with the common practice of having brass and copper as part of the pommel stack on later swords.


{coming soon}