Rare 19th Century Prestige Zulu Knobkerrie

Original price was: $1,000.00.Current price is: $800.00.

Time Period: 19th Century

Origin: Zulu, South Africa

Materials: Chestnut coloured hardwood, the globular head with deep adzed decoration

Provenance: UK, Auction House.

Certificates / Declarations: Original customs clearance documents and receipts.

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Prestige Zulu Knobkerrie

Knobkerries were an indispensable weapon of war both in Africa and abroad. In Africa, the weapon found particular use among Nguni peoples. Among the Zulu people, they are known as iwisa. The iwisa was not typically used in combat – though they were occasionally used as thrown weapons in place of the throwing spear or isijula. Instead, the Zulu used iwisa as swagger sticks, ceremonial objects, or even as snuff containers. In the 20th century, the Zulu nationalist movement Inkatha viewed iwisa as traditional weapons and lobbied for the right to carry such weapons in public-


This stunning knobkerrie is truly a remarkable one of a kind. It has a deep rich chestnut colored hardwood, with an aged patina to complement its beautiful craftsmanship. The globular head consists of several deep adzed decorations. The shaft seems to have an aged trim, however, it also features a nice aged patina consistent throughout the knobkerrie. This type of knobkerrie was typically carried by Zulu men as a symbol of status or prestige.


Genuine, 19th-century prestige knobkerries like this have become highly sort after artifacts. African ethnographic tribal artwork  value is typically based on some of the following criteria with the help of an expert:

  1. Condition, (damages, repairs)
  2. Authenticity and Provenance, (history of ownership)
  3. Quality, (the type of material used, preservation, skill, aesthetics/beauty)
  4. 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 African cultural history. Feel free to ask any questions here


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