Original African Set of Two War Swords from the Upper Congo Region Anglo-Ashanti War - c.1870

Item Description

Original Item: One of a Kind Set. IMA President Christian Cranmer recalls times when as a boy, his father used to tell him that when he was young, there really were Atlases that had "UNEXPLORED" and "UNKNOWN" printed right across the center of the Continent of Africa. Needless to say the European Powers, especially the British, were always looking for new areas where they could expand the empire. In the later half of the 19th century, they started many "Campaigns" of conquest and Empire building. They fought against indigenous peoples, who were armed with edged weapons for the most part.

These two extraordinary Native fighting swords in this pair are typical examples. They are are quite unique to themselves in a world that had no contact with Europeans, and most likely little contact at all outside of the local area. In these areas, the power of the sword was everything but alas, no match for the breech loading rifles of the Europeans.

Very matured and probably dating to the 1860s to 1870s, these two short swords look truly fearsome and could no doubt inflict ghastly wounds. The shorter of the two has a wooden handle attached to a 16 1/2 flanged blade, with an overall length of 21 inches. The blade is still quite sharp and very front heavy. The longer sword has a handle that is wrapped with flat iron wire, probably over wood or leather, holding a 19 inch long leaf-shape pointed blade, and is 22 1/2 inches in overall length. The blade on this one is more ornate, with leaf "veins" engraved, as well as several holes.

These are almost certainly the "Campaign Souvenirs" of some British Trooper who no doubt was only too pleased to have got back home to Victorian England.

The pair constructed of hand wrought iron, leather and wood, ready to display
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