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Old 25th September 2014, 06:07 PM   #1
blue lander
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Default Ngbandi sickle sword?

Another recent acquisition, the seller said it was from the Ngbandi people. Does that seem accurate?

I think the tip of the blade's snapped off. The inner curve of the blade is sharp, as well as the back of the upper part of the blade. The handle's split clean in half, it looks like the bottom crack has been filled with something whereas the upper half may have been wrapped in the newer shinier brass wire to keep it together. It feels like a sturdy repair.
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Old 25th September 2014, 06:30 PM   #2
Sajen
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Hello Blue,

to my knowledge this sickle swords are common by the Ngombe, Doko, Poto, Budja and Ngbandi. A very similar sword is shown in "panga na visu" on page 132. The brass wire around the handle is normal and don't have to do something with the repair. Nice sword, with some maintanance it will look very nice.

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Detlef
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Old 25th September 2014, 07:32 PM   #3
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Thanks. As far as maintenance goes, should I leave the blade as it is other than wiping it down with some oil? The entire blade is black.
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Old 25th September 2014, 10:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue lander
Thanks. As far as maintenance goes, should I leave the blade as it is other than wiping it down with some oil? The entire blade is black.


I personally would clean the blade, oil the handle and would polish a little bit the wire. Other collectors, special in the States, will have a different opinion. Look here: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ighlight=ngombe, we have had this disscussion several times. At last it is your personal decision.

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Old 25th September 2014, 11:12 PM   #5
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Thank you for that link, its given me a lot to think about. On the one hand, I believe the blade is more aesthetically pleasing without the black patina as it better allows you to see the craftsmanship and decorations. On the other hand, by removing the patina you're erasing a chapter of the history of the item. On the third hand, if the chapter you're erasing says "this item was stored improperly and allows to degrade," maybe that chapter should be erased.
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Old 26th September 2014, 02:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue lander
Thank you for that link, its given me a lot to think about. On the one hand, I believe the blade is more aesthetically pleasing without the black patina as it better allows you to see the craftsmanship and decorations. On the other hand, by removing the patina you're erasing a chapter of the history of the item. On the third hand, if the chapter you're erasing says "this item was stored improperly and allows to degrade," maybe that chapter should be erased.


Agree with the third hand opinion!
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Old 26th September 2014, 05:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue lander
Thank you for that link, its given me a lot to think about. On the one hand, I believe the blade is more aesthetically pleasing without the black patina as it better allows you to see the craftsmanship and decorations. On the other hand, by removing the patina you're erasing a chapter of the history of the item. On the third hand, if the chapter you're erasing says "this item was stored improperly and allows to degrade," maybe that chapter should be erased.



Extremely well said!!!
Patination on historic weapons is effectively history itself emblazoned onto the weapon itself. It is of course prudent to remove and stabilize any active rust or corrosion, however restraint is the byword in treatment of these icons of history.
Also well noted, forensically, a weapon often reflects variation in the areas of aging, wear and rust or corrosion. In many cases, a weapon has been removed from conditions in which it may have been for a long time, and has thus been exposed to new and more harmful circumstances.
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Old 29th September 2014, 07:42 PM   #8
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Thank you. I decided to give the blade a few wipes with fecl to lighten the patina up a bit, purely so I could appreciate the workmanship and decoration of the blade better. Even after a generous application of etchant the black patina showed no signs of lightening up. Throwing caution to the wind I tried flitz polish. This also did nothing.

I think lightening this blade would require serious use of abrasives, and that's not a bridge I'm willing to cross.
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