From the collection of: Iain Norman

Attribution

Likely 19th century - perhaps Hausa or Bornu or Mandara regions.

Comments

A takouba with unusual blade marks and construction. The blade exhibits reasonable flex although it is seems clear it is native made and not European as it exhibits some slight waves to the blade. The blade marks seem to be in imitation of the Italian fly mark and are present on the blade and repeated on the forte plates. The blade is pinned within the forte plate, likely indicating it was re-hilted at least once. Heavy sharpening and blade wear support this. The edge is extremely sharp and a single shallow fuller, likely reduced in depth over time by wear, is present.

The hilt is best compared to Takouba 33. The guard is small and of iron, leather covered. The grip the same, with small leather ties at the ends. The pommel is of brass and iron with the typical medial ridge.

Overall this takouba is very good balance and was clearly a valued fighting weapon, worth re-hilting an old blade. There remain intriguing questions, were the forte plates marked when the blade was remounted in imitation of the blade marks. Were all the marks made at the same time? 

Measurements

Overall length: 89.5cm
Blade length: 76.5cm
Blade width at base: 4.5cm