Rare 19th Century Zulu Executioner’s Knobkerrie -Mfecane I

Rare 19th Century Zulu Executioner’s Knobkerrie -Mfecane I


Time Period: 19th C.

Origin: South Africa

Tribal Weaponry: Prestige Zulu Knobkerrie: Mfekane I

Provenance: Premier UK Market, Private Collection, Premiere UK Market

Highlight: Code Named “Mfekane I” (The Crushing in Zulu), A museum-worthy piece and an absolute show stopper.

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Knobkerrie Description

This Zulu Prestige Knobkerrie has been the center of attraction at major auction houses in England. Without doubt, it has become a highly sort after piece among Zulu tribal artifacts collectors. Its’ large segmented wood globular head set with numerous brass studs, and tapering cylindrical haft bound with woven brass wire traditional style looks intimidating to earn an appropriate name: “Mfecane” which translates to The Crushing in the Zulu language. These weapons were typically used for execution during war.

Knobkerrie Condition:

Typical splits between the segments of the head due to size and age with some loss of the brass studs. An iconic piece dating to the 19th century, most likely used by a high ranking Zulu warrior. Contact Us if you have any questions.


It is extremely rare to find a similar knobkerrie like this in the open market. The few executioner knobkerries we have come across are not as aesthetically pleasing as this one. By the way, this piece has been presented as a “Featured” item at premier auction houses already.


Genuine, 19th-century artifacts like this have become highly sort after by collectors, museums and scholars. Ethnographic art valuation is typically determined by some of the following criteria with the help of an expert:

-Authenticity and Provenance, (origin and history of ownership)
-Quality, (the type of material used, preservation, skill, aesthetics/beauty)
-Uniqueness (the only one of its kind), rarity (occurs only in few locations) affect value.

Finally, to fully appreciate ethnographic tribal art, one has to have a sound understanding of the particular cultural history


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