19th century Tsonga or Venda 'Bayonet' war axe
A very nice South African War axe probably Tsonga or Venda, although a similar from has sometimes been attributed to other tribes noteably the Zulu. The long upper spike to the blade typical, some sources suggest the form was adopted in the model of the bayonet fitted to British rifles. The lengthening of the axe blade enabled it to be used almost sword-like as a slashing and stabbing weapon. The wooden haft with the upper section blackened and a characteristic crescent shape which has symbolic meaning. A beautiful rich patina throughout. This axe comes from a large private collection of South African material much of which was exhibited at the 2007 Spirit of Africa Exhibition at the Clayarch Gimhae Museum.