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Circa 1880. Finally forged iron head showing distinct forge welded (mechanical Damascus) construction. Large leaf shaped blade with indented base and medial ridge almost surely from a fine early assegai probably traded after the Zulu were disarmed following the 1879 war with the British. 47 3/8" length overall with heavy iron collar and long base piece made from lead water pipe, the bottom distorted from extensive use. This example and others of similar proportions were evidently based on the Zulu model which, when fighting with spear or sword armed opponents, proved to be overwhelmingly the most successful. The quality of the head reflects the success of its owner and the use of lead pipe, his nearness to the European trade. Head shows fine patina haft with open crack, the black painted surface well worn from use.