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Old 25th February 2012, 02:23 PM   #1
katana
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Default Sudanese small shield with spear tip ?? on eBay

This recently finished on eBay.....

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/320849661...984.m1438.l2649

Has anyone seen anything like this before ? Fantasy piece, ceremonial or battle ready piece ?

What do you think ?

Pictures added for future reference.

David
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Old 25th February 2012, 02:57 PM   #2
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Hello David,

never seen something like this before. Is it a tortoiseshell covered with leather? The patina at the handle seems to be great.

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 25th February 2012, 04:26 PM   #3
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I sure would like to see the critter that shell came from .
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Old 25th February 2012, 04:51 PM   #4
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On page 94/95 from the Benitez & Barbier book "Shields" is shown a shield from Sudan made from tortoise carapace.
Regards,

Detlef
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Last edited by Sajen : 25th February 2012 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 25th February 2012, 05:42 PM   #5
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Hi

Its real enough - one of those unusual concoctions thrown up in the Mahdist period, most likely. I've seen a number....
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Old 25th February 2012, 06:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Hello David,

never seen something like this before. Is it a tortoiseshell covered with leather? The patina at the handle seems to be great.

Regards,

Detlef




Hi Detlef,
I believe leather covered turtle shell. Presumedly damp leather was fixed over the shell and as it dried, contracted tightly around it.
Thanks for posting the picture of the toitoise shelled example

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
I sure would like to see the critter that shell came from .


I would imagine, probably less than the "critter" wanted to see the guy that thought 'you'd make a good shield'

Quote:
Originally Posted by colin henshaw
Hi

Its real enough - one of those unusual concoctions thrown up in the Mahdist period, most likely. I've seen a number....


Hi Colin,
thanks for the input. Price seemed excessive to me though.


Kind Regards David

Last edited by katana : 25th February 2012 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 25th February 2012, 11:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
On page 94/95 from the Benitez & Barbier book "Shields" is shown a shield from Sudan made from tortoise carapace.
Regards,

Detlef



Nicely done response Detlef!!! and with source, excellent match.
That is a great book on shields, which unfortunately I dont have, but it seems has the most comprehensive references on shields, and one of the few books on the topic.

Thanks for posting this David, something I had never seen before, another for the notes

All the best,
Jim
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Old 26th February 2012, 02:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Nicely done response Detlef!!! and with source, excellent match.
That is a great book on shields, which unfortunately I dont have, but it seems has the most comprehensive references on shields, and one of the few books on the topic.
All the best,
Jim


Thank you Jim. This book is a must-have for collectors of shields, a very good reference book of this topic.

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 26th February 2012, 11:27 AM   #9
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Hi all, actually the 'ebay-shield' is from a kind of swampturtle (like a seaturle) that naturally has a skin covered boneshield; the shield from Detlef's book is the top of the turtleshield and the 'ebay-shield' is the bellyside of this same type of turtle.
They do only exist in those lakes/swamps in a particular area in East- Africa (dont know the specific details).
Most shields -which by most are not reckognised as such- the attached stick n bands are removed and sold as 'decorative turtleshield' as I have seen a few (like from the book). Also'ordinary turtleshield were used as shields sometimes.
So no skin has manually been drawn over the shield or like that. Hope this clears ONE detail about the <still quite interesting!> object

Cheers Wouter
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Old 26th February 2012, 01:12 PM   #10
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Wow, great input! After a closer look to the ebay shield, yes this is the bellyside of tortoise carapace. Wouter, you are sure that it is the same kind of tortoise?

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 26th February 2012, 09:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indianajones
Hi all, actually the 'ebay-shield' is from a kind of swampturtle (like a seaturle) that naturally has a skin covered boneshield; the shield from Detlef's book is the top of the turtleshield and the 'ebay-shield' is the bellyside of this same type of turtle.
They do only exist in those lakes/swamps in a particular area in East- Africa (dont know the specific details).
Most shields -which by most are not reckognised as such- the attached stick n bands are removed and sold as 'decorative turtleshield' as I have seen a few (like from the book). Also'ordinary turtleshield were used as shields sometimes.
So no skin has manually been drawn over the shield or like that. Hope this clears ONE detail about the <still quite interesting!> object

Cheers Wouter


Hi Wouter,
thanks for the info.....I did consider that the shell was the plastron (lower shell) .....but for one problem. The lower shell on all turtles are either flat or concave (males usually concave to help them stay on their 'lady' during mating.) As the scales are on the outside of the shell the one used as a shield is convex. A possibility is that the shell was 'shaped' by heat ....similar to the technique to shape horn ??


Best David
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Old 27th February 2012, 12:33 AM   #12
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YOU ARE CORRECT IT IS TURTLE SHELL BACK AND BELLY. WE HAVE A SPECIES OF SOFTSHELL TURTLE HERE AND I HAVE EATEN ONE AND ARTICULATED ITS BONES. THE SIZE THEY GROW TO HERE IS 6 TO 30 INCHES (15 TO 76 CM. THE FEMALES BEING MUCH LARGER. THEY LIVE IN FRESH WATER MOSTLY RIVERS HERE AND ARE THE FASTEST TURTLE ON LAND ITS UNLIKELY YOU WILL BE FAST ENOUGH TO CATCH ONE BEFORE HE GETS TO THE WATER. MOST OF THE SHELL IS SOFT AND FLEXABLE WITH BONE AT THE CENTER. THE BELLY PLATE IS MADE UP OF FOUR LARGE BONES AND FLEXABLE NO DOUBT THAT HELPS THE THING RUN SO FAST AND FLATTEN OUT AND BURY ITSELF IN THE SAND. WE HAVE THREE SPECIES HERE IN NORTH AMERICA,THEY DO HAVE THEM IN AFRICA BUT I DON'T KNOW THE SIZE OR IF ITS THE SAME SPECIES.
I THINK THERE WAS A OLD POST ON A SHIELD SIMULAR TO THE SECOND ONE USING THE BACK PLATE.
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Old 27th February 2012, 04:27 PM   #13
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Hi all, yes Sajen I think this is from the same kind of turtle (name 'turtle' is for the sea variant n 'tortoise' for the landvariant, am I right?).
The shield from the book could have had a more vulnerable edge round which has been removed, as there are ribs sticking out.
The shape is natural to my opinion. Have never put any energy into looking for the exact type of turtle it is; anyone . . ?!? (will see if have time to do so in a while.
Question remains . . . . .is it really a authentic used and made by which tribe??? Am curious too (I do think so myself, but what tribe)
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Old 27th February 2012, 05:49 PM   #14
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Hi Wouter,

only ask because the form is different, but I am also not an expert in this field of zoology. You are correct, when it is one which living in the water it is a turtle.

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 12th April 2012, 02:31 PM   #15
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Hello to you all from a "rookie"!
As I bought the shield after a serious deal and I have it in my hands I can confirm that it definitely made from the bellyside of a turtle carapace; it looks a sudanese/dinka item , as well as the nice short barbed spear with reptile (monitor?) skin .
I already had a sudanese shield made from the same stuff with a decorated metal rim and indo persian like buckles to hold the handle in place, forced in an "horizontal" shape but showing exactly the same natural pattern.
Best regards, Alberto
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Old 12th April 2012, 09:40 PM   #16
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I hadn't noticed this thread before.

This older thread may be of interest: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=2522

As well as this Dinka turtle amulet (complete turtle shell): http://southernsudan.prm.ox.ac.uk/d...79.20.130_c.jpg

And this Dinka croc skin shield: http://southernsudan.prm.ox.ac.uk/details/1979.20.116/
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Old 16th April 2012, 11:52 AM   #17
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Hi, wel as I again noticed this thread I have just noticed such particular turtle shield used as an old souvenir-painting. This example is 32cm high.

It may require some 'carefull looking' to see its the same type of shield. See the ribbled surface and the dried remains of the skincovering. Lovely painting ahum ahum isnt it?!
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