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Today I added a few more shields and a rather battered spear to my collection. The first shield measures 26 X 18 inches. As usual the pole was missing from the back, but I have added a temporary one to it until I find something a bit better. There is some hair loss, but in general the shield is in superb condition. The best I can describe the colour is a smoky grey/green.

The second shield was picked up on ebay for the princely sum of £13. I assume it is a dance shield, and it measures 19 X 12 inches. It was when I saw the picture of the back of it that I was interested. I think it may be a period item. But as my knowledge is limited on these things, I fully expect to be corrected!

The spear measures 50 inches. At one time it was completely clad in brass wire, but it has obviously seen better days.

http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_03_2013/post-15217-0-99506300-1364330995.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_03_2013/post-15217-0-54920500-1364331041.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_03_2013/post-15217-0-59117500-1364331065.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_03_2013/post-15217-0-89450000-1364331385.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_03_2013/post-15217-0-57825900-1364331139.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_03_2013/post-15217-0-67640400-1364331247.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_03_2013/post-15217-0-87724400-1364331263.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_03_2013/post-15217-0-20116800-1364331279.jpg

Edited by Harry the Mole

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Hi - Harry. Some nice pieces - in fact I think you are seeing more then I do.

The small shield. With the binding, I would say a good possibility of it being a dancing shield - or, for a boy.

However, the way the hide has aged on the reverse I would think fairly old. Possibly mid 20th. C.

The larger shield is an Umbumlulu. We will be able to take a guess as to which Impi from the single colour. I will

have a look for you. The older binding 11 strips at the top - 10 at the bottom. A lovely find and apart from the

hair coming off in places, in good condition. The mice and cockroaches used to eat the hair and fats when they were

stored in the thatch of the reed roofs.

Now - your Iklwa. This is the first time that I have seen one with the whole body bound in wire. The broken areas

and also, where the wood is showing , is just damage and age. I would say that the area from the shaft is original

and then the colour changes. I think there was damage and the owner had the entire shaft rebound. This brass

and copper wire came from the Portuguese in Mocambique - probably it was originally made to hang pictures.

The head has the correct tong marks and beating techniques of the Zulus. I would say you have come across a

rare item and despite the damage, a valuable one. None of these were made after 1879 as they had no access to

Delgoa Bay. They may of course, have had wire in stock - but, the British were very strict after the Zulu War.

Well done. Mervyn

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Hi Mervyn. and thanks for the information. The spear actually came with the larger shield. I assumed the shield to be around the 19th century after counting the amount of slots top and bottom. I kept in mind what you told me the last time! Again I only had photographs of the items to work off. The spear actually had insulation tape wrapped around the damaged area, and the blade has a couple of kinks in it. But I suspected that it may be something special with all the wire work on it. I managed to get both these items at quite a reasonable price. But this will probably be my last purchase for quite a while!

I was offered a large collection of Zulu items by a dealer I know. It consists of no less than 18 spears, axes and knobkerries. There is also a shield and a lot of clothing. It is all 19th century, and he wanted £3,000 for the lot. Past experience has taught me not to push my luck too far with my wife. There is a limit to my bravery, and I took the easy option by declining!

Best wishes,

Steve.

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Steve - see if you can get a few picttures - tell him you need to do research. Clothing from the 1879 period is rare and any

uniforms to the 24th worth a lot - particularly if the owner had a spear in him....................

Look inside clothing for names and ident. marks. Mervyn (Sere if he is willing to split them ?)

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Hi Mervyn,

There isn't a cat in hell's chance of him splitting them! There is nothing to the 24th, it is all Zulu stuff. All he told me about the clothing was that there was a lot of the clothing done in leopard-skin. I think he said it was a bit moth-eaten. He knows it is worth a lot more than he is asking, but he just wants to get rid as a job-lot. Unfortunately I have just a few days ago taken his contact details out of my phone. I got in touch with him just to see if he would sell off a few items, but he wouldn't budge, it had to be everything or nothing. I have known him for a long time, so I know he means what he says. His name is Andy Taylor, and he advertises in the 'Armourer Magazine.' If you can get hold of a copy you will find his phone number and email details in there.

Regards,

Steve.

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Thanks Steve. I wouldn't personally be interested - although these will probably be contempory with the 1879 period. Under the Cites treaty

you cannot move prohibited animal parts around the World - and Leopards are high on the list. These should really be in a Museum. Mervyn

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