From the famed Ruben Rubens collection, 33 1/4" length, carved wood with a long shaped grip and fanciful shaped blade with acutely raised false edge pierced for suspension of ornaments. Undoubtedly part of the booty sacked from Benin by the British during the 1897 Punitive Expedition. See Pitt Rivers Museum, #1991.13.17 for another example with the blade sheathed in coral beadwork. This example evidently was sheathed in beadwork as well as the blade is tool finished only. The tip bears a short crack with plant fiber repair. The tip of the crest at the back of the blade broken in antiquity and worn over from use. Dark glossy patina throughout. Note: As the Benin Kingdom ceased to exist after the 1897 Punitive Expedition, all Benin art and artifacts predate that event. Since the looting of Benin City represented the greatest acquisition, by orders of magnitude, by Europeans of Benin art and artifacts, virtually any Benin items may confidently be attributed to that event.