Mid-19th century. 15 1/4" height. Iconic form with hook shaped blade with medial ridge in black forged finish field and bright sharpened edges. The base with a pin forged circle. Wood hilt of elegant form with oval section waisted bolster encased in fine trade copper tape wrap. Tapered grip and large faceted counterweight pommel. Undamaged with fine patina throughout. Collected by Baptist Missionaries in the early 1880s. The Mangbetu were involved in the ivory and slave trade, and by their own oral tradition, cannibals. Knives such as this would have been used in the final stages of a slave raid when unmarketable captives were killed. They were also well suited for the handling and distribution of corpse members for human consumption. Superior quality and condition.