Formerly from the collection of: Iain Norman
19th century mounts with a likely 16th-century or early 17th-century German blade
This is quintessential takouba, incorporating a European, likely German, blade, manufactured in Solingen in the 16th century. The mounts are likely 18th or 19th century and relatively early. The guard unusually never incorporated brass plates but was leather covered. The pommel is large, well balanced and nicely crafted.
The blade is of a type manufactured in bulk for a range of European broadswords in the 16th and early 17th centuries. Marked with a running wolf and a cross and orb, both marks are inlaid with original bronze or brass latten. The blade has some oversharpening near the tip but overall retains much of its original geometry.
The ethnic group that used it is difficult to determine precisely as the piece lacks a scabbard and guard plates, but a Tuareg or Hausa attribution is most likely.
This is a perfect example of the proper fighting takouba used for centuries within the Sahel, relying on a global trade network that brought together commodities such as African salt and European steel and smithing.