Western Europe, possibly Belgium, ca. end of 18th century CE. A rare single-edged carbon steel knife featuring a figural wooden hilt and a wood and brass sheath. Showcasing a lustrous surface of chocolate brown woodgrain, the intriguing handle is in the form of the bust of an African king, heavily ornamented with a horned crown, several layers of collared necklaces, and a nose ornament fit with a shell inlay center. His elongated head, which forms the pommel of this unique weapon, features a flat nose, a petite mouth, and two deep-set, shell inlay eyes. Tapering as it nears the blade, his narrow torso is decorated in several vertical incised striations, as well as an incised braided motif and a shell embellishments. A petite strip of brass inhabits the rain-guard area. Alternatively, the sheath is decorated with a brass tip and base on top of a deep brown woodgrain. Size: 12" L x 1.125" W (30.5 cm x 2.9 cm)
Provenance: ex-Estate of Eldert Bontekoe, Pegasi Numismatics, Ann Arbor, Michigan USA acquired before 2000
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Sheeth with cracks and worn as shown. Blade with oxidized surface and slightly bent at tip. A very rare example!