Zulu Knobkerrie – South Africa

Knobkerries are some of the most iconic objects in the indigenous art traditions of South Africa, and were ubiquitously carried by men in the region as both weapons and symbols of status. While typically designed with utility in mind, they were often carved with a great aesthetic sensibility, emerging as works of art in their own right.

This knobkerrie features an unusually large head pitted with concavities to create a honeycomb effect. Age and use have lent a dark, rich patina to the surface of the wood. Reflecting the imaginative approach of South African carvers, this delightful piece shows intriguing uniqueness in an otherwise standard form.

Late 19th or early 20th century
Wood
30” l
Provenance: Private UK collection
#523
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