Original Victorian Zulu Wars Selepe Battle Axe with Engraved Blade and Copper/Brass Wire Wrapping c.1879

Item Description

Original Item: One of a Kind. This is part of a South African family collection, kept together since the Victorian Era. 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. This very nice example has a 27 3/4 inch long wood haft and an engraved 7 inch long blade head with a 6 inch crescent shaped cutting edge.

The haft is bound in copper and brass wire in 8 different locations, including around where the head is attached. There is some degradation and wear to the wire, but it is still quite attractive, and the wood is a beautiful red brown color.

Most likely brought back from the battlefield by a soldier, or even just curious onlookers after the war was over. Very handsome and ready to display!

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