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garynyc

Spear with possible Zulu war provenance?

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Hi all; 

 

I came upon this at an estate sale in Long Island, New York USA. I doubt that it's truly what it purports to be, yet there is a photo of a man claiming to be the son of a man who fought with it at Isandlwana. I am skeptical yet purchased the whole lot of signed art prints, shields and spears. They are a pretty neat collection. Please let me know if this spear could be the real thing.

 

Thank you.

 

Thank you

 

Gary

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20151205_174120.jpg

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The cow tail shrunk over the haft of the blade is apparently the traditional method of fixing and no longer done, which argues for some age, as does the accompanying story.  Sadly, our pukka Zulu expert, Mervin Mitton, passed away just recently or e'd have chimed in by now.  I'm sure, wherevere he is, he has an opinion.

That said, the mantra I have always clung to in collecting is 'Buy the thing, not the story.'  Presumably Zulus were as taken with the events at Isandalwana and Rourke's drift as were the British, for different reasons, and the temptation to 'embroider' stories and the fallibilty of human memory are universals.  Not saying it wasn't used there, but I've seen many many misattributed 'treasures' over the years, sometimes for profit often from sheer error. 

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Hello Peter;

 

Thanks for your input here. It is sad that Milton cannot weigh in on another artifact.

I appreciate the need for caution when dealing with the provenance of such an item. One must be careful!

 

Thanks again and happy holidays

 

Gary

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Well, I reckon aye, based upon the photos in an a 40 year old Wallis and Wallis catalogue I just unearthed. 

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I have a similar example, though mine has a cut down shaft.  Mervyn before he left us ID' it as a Zulu throwing spear, and elsewhere I was told it was as well.  The chopping of the head from the shaft made it easier for British soldiers to fit them in their kit bag to bring them home with them.

african spearhead 1.JPG

african spearhead 3.JPG

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Thanks for sharing Jerry. Just glad mine wasn't stuffed into a carry on lol. I am not sure of the value of my throwing spear, but I would guess the signed photo with witnesses might help establish its' provenance.

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40 minutes ago, garynyc said:

Thanks for sharing Jerry. Just glad mine wasn't stuffed into a carry on lol. I am not sure of the value of my throwing spear, but I would guess the signed photo with witnesses might help establish its' provenance.

Having a "history2 with yours Gary must make it more desirable and that usually means a greater value.  I have no idea what they go for or what actual difference having the history makes, mine came from a local antique center for not that much, price of a few beers.

 

A cool item and certainly being welsh from south wales such things have an added appeal I think.

 

 

 

 

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