Original Zulu War Hardwood Battle Damaged Knobkierie with Named Engraved Silver Plaque - Dated 1879
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. The Zulu War of 1879 was an eye opener for the British Army. A British regiment at Isandlwana destroyed by African natives with clubs and spears against Martini Rifles just could not happen, and yet, it did.
The result was a massive reaction and a mighty army dropped on Zululand bringing the Zulus to their knees months later. Every Officer worth his salt wanted in on this, the thirst for revenge and the prospect of glory was too great a temptation.
Here is a high quality hardwood Zulu Knob Kerrie mounted on the shaft is a silver plaque engraved:
Recovered After the Battle
at RORKES DRIFT
J. WILLIAMS 1879
Now, just about every warm blooded man has heard of Rorke's Drift and has seen the Movie "ZULU" about the Welsh Regiment, The 24th of Foot fighting off 4,000 Zulus in 1879. "Williams", like Jones is a very common Welsh Name and in fact there were three "J.WILLIAMS" in the regiment that took part in this action. One was killed, one received the Victoria Cross and the third was present. Even so that does not mean that this was taken back to England by any of them.
The collector who had owned this for many years tried hard to prove it's connection to the Victoria Cross winner only to discover that "Williams" was his alias possibly because he was avoiding the law. Clearly the "killed in action" Williams could not be involved leaving only the third J.Williams who the collector could not trace after 100 years. Quite possibly this J.Williams was part of one of the Relief columns arriving just after the battle. We will never know, but we can dream.
A Knobkierie, also spelled knobkerrie, knopkierie or knobkerry, is a form of club used mainly in Southern and Eastern Africa. Typically they have a large knob at one end and can be used for throwing at animals in hunting or for clubbing an enemy's head. The knobkierie is carved from a branch thick enough for the knob, with the rest being whittled down to create the shaft.
The name derives from the Afrikaans word knop, meaning knot or ball and the Nama (one of the Khoekhoe languages) word kierie, meaning cane or walking stick. The name has been extended to similar weapons used by the natives of Australia, the Pacific islands and other places.
Knobkieries were an indispensable weapon of war, particularly among southern Nguni tribes such as the Zulu (as the iwisa) and the Xhosa. Knobkieries was occasionally used during World War I.
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