c1875 Zulu Wars Chieftains Knobkerrie Fighting Club


A very fine looking original antique South African Zulu Knobkerrie War Club. This example has the traditional shape with the all-wood cudgeon ball head and the long slender shaft. However, the knobkerrie has been further decorated by the addition of binding braided brass and copper wire along the shaft. This produces an attractive ripple effect and alternates from copper to brass to copper. It would have been carried as a status symbol by someone of high rank, possibly of advanced age, as the wood is lighter than the usual African Olive tree, which resembles Lignum vitae. Condition is good, with a nice patina of age.
A knobkerrie, is a form of club used mainly in Southern and Eastern Africa. Typically they have a large knob at one end and can be used for throwing at animals in hunting or for clubbing an enemy's head. The knobkerrie is carved from a branch thick enough for the knob, with the rest being whittled down to create the shaft. Knobkerries were used by the Zulus to great effect when they fought the British in the South African Zulu War of 1879. The war is notable for several particularly bloody battles, including an opening victory of the Zulu at the Battle of Isandlwana, followed by the successful defence of Rorke's Drift.
Size: 78 cm (30 ¾ inches)
Weight: 483 g