Colonial Era Shields
A Ancient 36” Nile crocodile shield (from the Sudan) with raised boss and non-detachable spear main beam. Was designed to parry blows and then stab an opponent. Thick, metal tip appears to be a miniature version of the Manton spear heads the Colonial British used on their boar lances-$1,900 SOLD
B Beautiful colors and great condition-dates back to the very early 1900’s. Both ends have been pulled towards the middle as it has shrunk so this 30” shield is concave in shape. Features a heavy wood frame, raised boss and two rare talismans (hide from the animal a Jr. Moran slays to become a Sr. Moran) still attached (to left of photo) to it-$2,500 Buy Now
C Colonial era 33” shield from the late 1800’s that has dried and warped some over time which is very typical of pieces that are not displayed in a climate controlled environment. Rich patina and an incredible wood frame with a raised boss-$2,200 SOLD
D Colonial era 33” shield from the late 1800’s that has dried and warped some (less than item C) over time which is very typical of pieces that are not displayed in a climate controlled environment.. Rich patina and an incredible wood frame with a raised boss-2,500 SOLD
E Newer 27” Maasai shield with good colors, heavy-duty construction and in nice shape-$799 SOLD
F Massive 40” shield that was purchased in the 1930’s. In great condition with vibrant colors-$1,900 SOLD
G Colonial era piece that has combat “beauty marks”. This shield has great colors and three slash marks and one damaged spot ( on top left edge) that looks like it could have been caused by a war club impact. Nicer than most of the items on display in museums-$2,999 SOLD
H Newer 36” piece with some damage on the back that would not be visible if it were to be displayed on a wall - $999 SOLD
In over two decades of collecting, we have only come across a handful of authentic Zulu shields. Unlike Maasai shields, which have the hair scraped off, Zulu shields leave the hair on and this causes them to age less gracefully than all-leather Maasai or woven shields so they are extremely rare. For over a decade we have had to tell many of our customers that while we can supply Zulu spears, knobkerries and axes, we are unable to provide a matching Zulu shield. For this reason, ever since we put out our first catalog in 2008, we have been looking for a good source of authentic reproduction Zulu shields...this year we finally found one!
The shields below are made by an 85-year-old Zulu warrior and his two apprentices in South Africa. Colors of the shields, which are typically spotted, include black, white and tan. They are made to scale and incorporate all three key elements you look for in a good Zulu shield: the traditional eye-catching Nguni cowhide; the wooden main beam that reinforces the shield; and the impala hide decoration on the top section of the main beam. The knobkerrie and spear, while nicely crafted for this purpose, are distinguishable by someone with a trained eye from Colonial era pieces which typically took skilled Zulu weapons craftsman over a week to complete.
We stock these in two sizes, 36" and 40", but larger sizes are available upon request. This measurement is from the top to the bottom of the shield, not the main beam, which is longer. These are sold in four-piece sets which include a shield, impala-topped main beam, knobkerrie and spear. The shield and three longer pieces ship separately.