From the collection of: Chris Topping

Attribution

Likely early to mid 20th century - Hausa or perhaps Fulani?

Comments

An interesting and unusual curved takouba with an engraved blade and sheet metal hilt. Curved takouba with fully metal hilts seem to be most often encountered in Nigeria and surrounding areas. Combined with the sheet metal hilt it is probably fairly safe to attribute this to the Hausa.

The blade seems to be sheet steel and ground to shape. The decorative pattern of evocative swirls deeply engraved. The blade is single edged and fairly stiff with a single fuller. The overall shape seems to be a copy of typical European military sabres of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The hilt is entirely made of sheet metal, exact type unknown. It is covered in a brown paint like substance which has been encountered on other Hausa swords. The line decoration on the guard is made up of points and is also encountered on Hausa hilts. The pommel seems to be a transitional style retaining a fairly oval shape while exhibiting lines denoting where stacks would be. The hilt is soldered together in the usual manner.

This is unlikely to be a particularly old takouba, but curved takouba, particularly with metal hilts are not common and the engraved blade on this example is an unusual and intriguing feature.

Measurements

Total Length 889mm
Blade 785mm x 31mm
Hilt 152mm
Guard 104 x 37mm