From the collection of: Iain Norman
19th century, blade likely 18th century and German. Ethnic attribution unknown, likely Hausa?
A very good takouba that sadly has seen a rough life. The blade is of exceptional quality and is of German manufacture marked with the typical crescent moons with faces. Of a triple fuller pattern, the steel is of excellent temper and flex and very sharp. Much thicker than most triple fuller patterns at the base.
The pommel is extremely large balancing the sword very well. The shape is the typical brazil nut ovoid form. The guard is of standard two piece steel construction with brass plate. Sadly one plate is broken and in relic form and extensive corrosion was present on the guard. This has been cleaned and stabilized to some extent, however in the interests of preserving what is left, conservation carried out was conservative. The sword was also covered in a thick marine varnish or lacquer which had to be removed to access the underlying rust. This points towards an early collection date as this practice was common in the colonial period.
The grip is unusual in that it is wrapped in a fine native made bronze wire. This is the first instance the owner has seen of this grip wrap method in takouba and it may hold a clue as to the ethnic origins of the sword. Research is ongoing.
Overall this is a fine sword and while parts may have seen better days, the blade and pommel are in fine condition and the rest is stable and gives a nice window into a truly older sword in original mounts.
Blade length: 81.5cm
Blade width at base: 4.5cm