Lew Waldman's Ethnographic Arms & Armour Collection Archive

23 - African Masai Seme (Ol Alem) Sword, Steel with Leather Grip and Scabbard

A nice older example of the Masai seme, dated as circa 1900 by Lew, with a leather covered grip of oval cross section having annular ribs. The double-edged blade widens in the typical manner up until where it turns in to form the point and measures just over 20 inches in length. The straight blade has a full length mid rib on either side with the blade facets on either side transitioning from convex to concave going from the hilt to the point. Very light staining from previous areas of rust are scattered on the surface. A leather covered wooden scabbard accompanies the sword with scuff marks throughout and some contraction and losses near the mouth. The scabbard tip has failed and is open and worn such that the sharp tip of the sword may extend out of and beyond the end of the scabbard; but otherwise a nice typical antique example. Overall length is 24¾ inches with a weight of 21¾ ounces.

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