Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

knife with sheath
  • unknown Chokwe maker
  • knife with sheath, late 1800s–1914
  • Where object was made: Angola
  • wood, iron, tin, leather, embossing
  • Object Length/Width: a) 17 x 3 cm
    Object Length/Width: a) 6 11/16 x 1 3/16 in
    Object Length/Width: b) 15.5 x 10.5 cm
    Object Length/Width: b) 6 1/8 x 4 1/8 in
  • Gift of Claude D. Brown
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0384.a,b

This small knife (2007.0384.a) has a short iron blade with one cutting edge. The flat wooden handle has three holes in which the iron tang is visible. The sides are notched. Two bands of tin wrap the bottom portion of the handle.

The sheath (2007.0384.b) has an undecorated leather back with two small horizontal slits and a tie. The front is tin, with the edges folded over the leather edges, and nailed down. It is mostly "U" shaped, with a small tail off to one side. There is a band of dots embossed around borders. The center field is divided into decorated panels. There is a band of short vertical lines, then a square of cross hatches, then a square with two large "X's" and circles at the corner. The bottom has a square of crosshatching.

The knife was used for "domestic purposes" and the sheath was made from repurposed cans.