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Knife, Utility, Sheath, D88.186

Physical Description

Roughly 2/3 of knife is of flattened, tapered double edged iron blade. Remaining 1/3 is handle - of which 1st half is a tapered iron band and top half is leather likely bound around a knob of wood (though wood can not be seen). Leather portion is of several colours and construction. Lower portion nearest iron band is of a narrow strip(s?) wound tightly around handle and of a light brown colour. The next portion appears to be a single piece of leather wrapped tightly around handle and painted black. This same piece of leather apparently extends to the top and over the top of the handle as a cap. However, this cap is interrupted a few millimetres from the top by approx. 15mm of basket weave thin leather strips alternating green and black. NE Nigeria is an extremely dry part of country - subSaharan. Rust on much of the iron is likely an occurrence once it exited from this dry area. General appearance of knife is one of little or no actual use, i.e. has not been used.

Leather knife sheath. Gentle taper from top (receiving end) to end where it is slightly rounded. Main body of sheath appears to be one piece of thin leather wrapped around length of sheath and glued at finishing edges. Top of sheath has separate piece of leather wrapped around, with a narrower single piece of leather wrapped over that. On back side of top of sheath is a narrow rolled band of black dyed leather which has been inserted into slits of top band, somewhat like a very small belt loop. Two narrow strips of dyed white leather are looped into this loop. Exiting from either side of this loop are 4 leather strings (2 per side) approx. 290mm long. These thongs/strings give the appearance of being for the purpose of tying to something, e.g. an arm, a belt? The bottom tapered/rounded end of the sheath is edged with sewn alternating black/white leather strips. The main body of the sheath is dyed red with the edges dyed (probably inked) black. There is likely an inside frame of bamboo or other firm material to give the sheath its structure. The overall appearance of the sheath is of one not particularly well made and likely for the 'tourist' market.

Provenance

Donated
Locality

Measurements

Maximum dimensions (H x W x D): 305 x 37 x 23mm
Maximum dimensions (H x W x D) (a - knife): 286 x 34.9 x 23mm
Maximum dimensions (H x W x D) (b - sheath): 197 x 37.8 x 12mm

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