From the collection of: Iain Norman


19th century - likely Hausa or similar


An extremely ornate and massive wide bladed takouba. Wide blades and their probable role have been discussed on these pages a few times. For more on this style of takouba seeTakouba 16 and Takouba 42 which has comments reflecting the latest findings and ideas on these swords. In summary these are likely worn only by important court figures and guards, representing significant status.

This particular sword is an extremely good specimen. A very solid sword with a massive and sharp blade - it exhibits good flex and is very much a fighting weapon. The blade is of native manufacture. The swords were used among the Hausa states, the Nupe and also into northern Cameroon. The range is perhaps further but I have not yet found any solid evidence for their use among the Tuareg.

The brass work is particularly fine and the pommel an interesting geometric construction. One of the best swords I have had the privilege to own and handle. It is a massive piece, dwarfing the other swords I own and have handled in almost every proportion. A photo of two typical triple fuller blades and one other wide blade is included for comparison purposes.

The decorative motifs are particularly intriguing as the sword features an unusual brass forte plate, the backside of which has a circle based motif which may be astral or cosmological in nature.


Overall: 86cm