Original Victorian Zulu Wars Named Long Selepe Battle Axe with Engraved Silver Plaque c.1879
Original Item: One of a Kind. This is almost certainly a British soldier's "bring back", and is a totally original to the period. It is a ZULU war axe, traditionally referred to as a selepe, carried in the left hand behind the cowhide shield. The short stabbing iklwa spear was carried in the right hand. However, this is a type of ZULU Selepe War Axe we've not seen before, as it is quite a bit longer and heavier in construction than usual. It has a long 38 1/2" wood haft and an engraved 8" blade head.
On the wood haft there is a silver shield-shaped plaque stating:-
CAPT. J. H. BERRY
Some of the engraving is faint now, due to decades of careful polishing, but we're fairly certain this is what it states. Battle of Kambula took place in 1879, during the Anglo-Zulu War when a Zulu Army attacked the British camp at Kambula. It resulted in a decisive Zulu defeat and is considered to be the turning point of the Anglo-Zulu War. The F.L.H. stands for the Frontier Light Horse, which had taken part in the battle.
Plain but really impressive, from the same House Sale Collection we just received from England. Jolly nice with plenty of scope for research. Ready to Display!
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