Takouba sword, Sahara, North Africa 19th century

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The takouba is a style of sword traditionally associated with the Tuareg, the nomadic people of the central and west-central areas of the Sahara desert (including portions of what is now Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, and Morocco). The sword typically has a broad, straight, double-edged blade averaging 74 to 84 cm. (29 to 33 inches) in length and a simple cross-guard, and resembles the medieval European sword. The blades are generally imported, many bearing the marks of Toledo (Spain) or Solingen (Germany).

The BRLSI example has a wide, double edged blade, 83cm in length and formed with three fullers. The blade is stamped with 2 "moon-face" marks on each side. The brass sheet crossbar is decorated with an engraved pattern and fixed with iron rivets. The mushroom-shaped pommel is engraved in a similar pattern while the grip is partly covered with leather. The leather scabbard is partly encased with brass sheet which form both a chape and a locket. The brass sheet is engraved with a decorative pattern and is also pierced, the leather beneath stained in red or green to form an attractive design.

Catalogue no: EW024