From the collection of: Chris Topping
At least 19th century likely older - ethnic origin unknown but likely Hausa or Nupe.
An exceptional takouba with a European blade and a solid bronze hilt. This is a heavy duty fighting sword and quite different than the average takouba. The blade is marked with the running wolf and the cross and orb - the marks may be native applied but it is somewhat hard to tell. There is no reason to suspect this blade is not one of the earlier trade blades and could quite easily be 17th century. Extensive resharpening and tip profiling back up the impression that this blade had a very long working life.
The hilt is solid - not at all typical for takouba and something I have only seen a few of. This is the oldest one by far I have seen that is solid cast, at some point a repair was carried out on the pommel. The cast hilt also shows an older style of takouba hilts with a domed pommel - other solid cast hilts I have seen often show an imitation of the more modern pommel stacks. The hilt decoration mirrors the motifs and patterns seen on other Hausa and/or Nupe items.
This is one of the best takouba I have seen and one of my personal favorites and I am very glad it resides with one of the regular contributors to this website.