Exceptionally Good Arm Dagger from East Africa


Origin: East Africa

Date: 1892-1902


Commonly  known as arm dagger as it was worn on the upper arms with the aid of the plaited leather loop. Blade pointing up and handle down to allow a fast withdraw with the opposite hand. Thus type of daggers were spread over a wide geographical area, from South Egypt in the North, Somaliland in the east, South Sudan in the south and Chad in the west. Almost all tribes residing in this large part of Africa were using this daggers in a certain variant but all has the same general lines.

The arm dagger offered here is a bigger than usual. 15  inches (38 cm) long, compared to 11-12 in the more common ones. Blade is beautifully forged, deadly sharp with a central fuller, marked and with inscription in Arabic letters ملك دود (Belongs to Daud), year of 131??. The year script is not clear. Probably stand for 1310 – 1320, 1892 – 1902 in the Gregorian calendar. This date fits the use of these type of arm daggers. The handle is carved from African Black Wood (Dalbergia melanoxylon) bound with silver wire, filigree worked silver bands and silver russets and a silver pommel cap.  Scabbard is tooled leather with reptile skin, probably crocodile skin. Thick arm loop composed of twisted leather strips.

Blade 9 inches 23 cm) . Very good condition, Minor and shallow pitted spots on the blade. Good quality and very complete arm dagger in very good condition.



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