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Old 3rd February 2024, 09:14 PM   #1
Marius66
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Default Old Nigerian ?? Takouba

Hello dear members,

I just bought this old takouba sword for few pennies,
Sadly for the moment the blade is completely trapped in the scabbard and the pommel is totally folded / hammered
( thats why it was cheap...)

I first thought the hilt was covered with embosser leather but it is metal, I know that ''southern'' takouba have metal covered hilt, often made of brass.

Good news !!

I wonder first what kind of metal the hilt can be made of ? ( non ferrous/magnet don't work )
Brass oxydation can turn black-dark brown ??

Has someone good clues for clean it and for remove the blade from the leather scabbard ?
I was thinking about a thin and flexible metallic ruler to
introduce step by step in the scabbard ...
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Old 3rd February 2024, 09:30 PM   #2
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The last person who saw the blade put it back upside down in the scabbard...
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Old 4th February 2024, 06:48 AM   #3
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The hilt are most often brass, copper and zinc sometime a combination of all three layered at the pommel. You would do no harm cleaning the hilt. Getting blade out and not damaging the scabbard could be tricky. A flexible 1m steel rule with a chamfered edge could be slowly and gradually introduced into the scabbard with a releasing agent like WD40 or Plus Gas which I prefere. I have done this with blade in stuck in a wood lined metal scabbard. I think with a leather scabbard this will most likely take some time days. The scabbard will smell for months and the oils will darken the leather but over time all will settle down fine. Good luck. l

Last edited by Tim Simmons; 4th February 2024 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 4th February 2024, 10:32 AM   #4
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Thank you for your message,
I will post pictures of the blade 🤞, first find the thin steel ruler.
For the hilt has someone a ''magical trick'' for remove oxydation without sanding...
Here it is almost black , 19th century item ?
and I wonder if baking soda and a toothbrush can solve the problem...
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Old 4th February 2024, 11:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marius66 View Post
Thank you for your message,
I will post pictures of the blade 🤞, first find the thin steel ruler.
For the hilt has someone a ''magical trick'' for remove oxydation without sanding...
Here it is almost black , 19th century item ?
and I wonder if baking soda and a toothbrush can solve the problem...
One way to remove the blade from the sheath, is to take a soft wooden slatand a small hamer.Gently tap the slatover the entire sheath on all sides.
To clean the brass use a soft brass brush and fine steel wool and/or a brass polish.

Best Regards

Marc
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Old 4th February 2024, 03:55 PM   #6
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You can get a 1m thin steel ruler from amazon that will be flexible enough as you work carefully, pull the sword as you go. It might release well before you are half way down.
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Old 6th February 2024, 02:50 PM   #7
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My first recommendation is don't be in a hurry and force the removal.
Next, I like Pecards Antique Leather dressing; saturate the outside of the scabbard on both sides and when that is absorbed, reapply. Use an eyedropper and apply WD40 or a similar lubricant on the upright blade on both sides and let it drip down on the inside of the scabbard; do this repeatedly and slowly over days gently trying to work the blade out while continually reapplying the lubricant. More times than not you will get a successful result.
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Old 6th February 2024, 03:53 PM   #8
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Kroil penetrates threads on pipe and bolts more effectively than WD-40, though it is considerably more expensive. I do not know if better penetration is an advantage in this enterprise.
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Old 13th February 2024, 06:41 PM   #9
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Hello dear members,

I finally got it ! and cleaned it

Sadly not the graal or excalibur, 😐
The blade is unsharped ans local made of poor quality I guess.

It fits to just in the scabbard
that's why it was trapped when all rusty !

I hesitate to sharp the edges so it can fit better in.

A DECORATIVE ITEM , FOR TOURIST EXPORT OR A PARADE. PRESTIGE'' SWORD ?
I DON'T EVEN THINK IT IS NIGERIAN ??
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Old 13th February 2024, 06:43 PM   #10
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Ps: the hilt is not made with brass ,
Don't know what it is...
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Old 14th February 2024, 10:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marius66 View Post
Ps: the hilt is not made with brass ,
Don't know what it is...
Zinc maybe?

Regards
Marc
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Old 14th February 2024, 12:33 PM   #12
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I don't think it is a tourist item. They are worn as part daily dress in some parts.
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Old 14th February 2024, 04:37 PM   #13
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Marius, while the blade did not turn out to be an old one, you still did an impressive job of getting it out without damaging the scabbard. How did you do it?
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Old 16th February 2024, 08:18 PM   #14
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Wink

Hello all,
I first placed the metal ruler (without penetrating oil) gradually moving from left to right;
with the leather there was no problem, but it was still stuck at the maximum,
SobI tried to place the sword in the cold for a few hours to contract the metal (winter here) again the ruler about 40cm then I used a small wooden block and a hammer to get everything out by tapping on the brass trim delicately and gradually of course 1-2 mm
Again the ruler then again the wood block and hammer...
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Old 16th February 2024, 08:26 PM   #15
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For the extra size of the blade in comparison with the scabbard,
I saw that many of these southern takoubas have the base of the blade staying outside of the scabbard ,
This one richly decorated
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Old 16th February 2024, 08:48 PM   #16
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And this one with a brass stopper on the blade,
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Old 17th February 2024, 07:24 AM   #17
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I corrected-adjusted the pommel idem :
hammering on a
small wooden piece that I shaped as a bouterolle and use small rounded pliers

Patience...
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Old 17th February 2024, 06:01 PM   #18
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Great work on retrieving that old warrior out of its shroud!
While obviously this is not an old weapon (still a venerable age) and it should be noted that with ethnographic weapons, their study is not necessarily of items of any particular antiquity, but of traditional forms still maintained.

Briggs (1965) is a most valuable reference (one I use endlessly it seems) but though mostly it is remarkably reliable, Im not sure if the 'southern' and 'central' classifications are hard and fast.

The takouba is widely used outside its Tuareg associations with other contiguous tribes, and with trans Saharan trade caravans and the typical nomadism of these tribes, there cannot truly be geographic classifications. The predominance of certain features does offer some rule of thumb however.

These swords were significant to tribesmen not only as weapons, but as marks of status and often. worn by chiefs and their officials or retinue.
Typically of course trade blades were used, but there does seem to have been the concept that wider blades signified power/status so many blades were fashioned in this way.

This blade seems likely of sheet steel, with crudely drawn fullers and the 'dukari' (moons) though terribly done. It is doubtful such a clearly one off product would be intended as a 'tourist' souvenir, but created as a 'sword' following tribal tradition to be worn in the sense following those traditions.

Even though not worth a lot collectibly, it is still an intriguing piece of ethnographica, probably from areas around Mali, Burkina Faso, though as noted, northern areas of Nigeria into Niger are also possible.
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Old 17th February 2024, 08:47 PM   #19
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Thank you !! 👍🙏
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