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
  • tin, iron, brass, wood, embossing, carving
  • Object Length/Width: a) 18 x 3 cm
    Object Length/Width: a) 7 1/16 x 1 3/16 in
    Object Length/Width: b) 16.5 x 9 cm
    Object Length/Width: b) 6 1/2 x 3 9/16 in
  • Gift of Claude D. Brown
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0381.a,b

This is a knife (2007.0381.a) with a tin sheath (2007.0381.b). The knife has a short iron blade with one cutting edge. The wooden handle has a pronounced knob at the end and a rounded segment with a circular hole in which the iron tang is visible. One deep groove and two smaller grooves separate these parts of the handle. The groove is a lighter color. The remainder of the wooden handle is wrapped in a band of tin and two bands of another metal, possibly brass, which are grooved.

The sheath has a front and back of tin. The edges are folded under toward the back and crimped closed. It is mostly "U" shaped with a small tab directed toward one side. The back has a brass wire loop and the front has embossed decoration. There is a band of dots around the edges and the center field is divided into three panels. The top one has a line with a spiral on either end and two wide "V" shapes with a spiral on either end, facing each other with a diamond in the space between. The next panel has a four-legged animal with a tail. The bottom panel has a raised net-like pattern with dots around the space inside each diamond, except the bottom two, which are filled with a crosshatched pattern.