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Old 13th June 2011, 06:06 PM   #1
katana
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Default African Spear ...Congolese ?

Recently acquired 2 spears both almost identical. originally I thought perhaps 'touristy' ....only had pictures, but were cheap enough to 'take a risk'.
On arrival I found the spearheads and butts were painted silvery/grey with rust patches showing through. Using 'paint stripper' I carefully removed the paint layer ....to be pleasantly surprised that these were much better quality than I first thought One had very subtle decoration that was completely covered with the paint. The 'blades' are well forged, has a subtle midrib and although relatively thin are extremely strong. I especially like the forged 'triangular' reinforcing at the junction of the blade and socket.
One spear has had a longer (?) replacement shaft but the other has a shaft with a nice 'older' patina and is much shorter (not certain if this is the original length ? ) The edges are reasonably sharp and assume that it could easily be used as a stabbing/slashing spear. Would certainly create a wide, deep entry wound.

OAL 53" /135 cms

spear blade 12" / 30cms Widest point 3 3/4" or 8cms
socket 12cms long

Any one any ideas as to origin and if this type of spear has its own 'name' ? All comments, as usual gratefully received, thank you

David
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Old 13th June 2011, 10:45 PM   #2
tom hyle
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That little triangle is similar to a feature sometimes seen on Spanish colonial "Mediterranean dirks"
I think this spear is Berbese or African Arab.
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Old 14th June 2011, 02:37 PM   #3
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Hi Tom ,
thank you for your input. I have searched online but cannot find an image of a dirk with this feature. I would be grateful if you have a picture... could you post an example on this thread.

I have also searched for Arabic spears, but so far no joy.

Kind Regards David
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Old 14th June 2011, 03:02 PM   #4
colin henshaw
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Hi David

I think this type of spear is from the Lake Chad area - Northern Nigeria or Northern Cameroon. I have also seen something a bit similar from Madagascar.

Regards.
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Old 15th June 2011, 12:19 AM   #5
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Hi Colin,
thanks for your thoughts Have you any pictures you could post ? I'm really stumped with this spear

Kind Regards David
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Old 15th June 2011, 04:23 PM   #6
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Hi David

The best I can lay my hands on at the moment is this illustration (on the far right), from "Waffen aus Zentral-Afrika" by Museum fur Volkerkunde 1985. This example is described as Bornu.

Regards.



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Originally Posted by katana
Hi Colin,
thanks for your thoughts Have you any pictures you could post ? I'm really stumped with this spear

Kind Regards David
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Old 15th June 2011, 04:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colin henshaw
Hi David

The best I can lay my hands on at the moment is this illustration (on the far right), from "Waffen aus Zentral-Afrika" by Museum fur Volkerkunde 1985. This example is described as Bornu.

Regards.


Thanks Colin ,
indeed very similar. The spear length is quoted as 161.5 cms this might explain the longer socket ....due to the size, to re-inforce the connection with the shaft.

Kind Regards
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Old 16th June 2011, 12:08 PM   #8
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There are a couple of differences between the spear we are asked about and the one in the illustration that I find meaningfull, despite an overall similar shape including relatively long nontapering sockets: first is that though the socket ends in a pointed shape in the illustration, it does not seem to indicate the cone, but two more abrupt bolster type lines that intersect. I do not think this is a version of the same feature; I think it is two different features. The second is more subtle, and is that the shoulders where the blade narrows are quite steadily rounded in the illustreation, whereas those on the question spear swing in to a very close approximation of a line that is perpendicular to the socket.
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