Fabulous shona axe with brass wirework chiselled decoration to the blade

Fabulous Shona or Zulu axe with brass wirework

A magnificent war or authoratitive axe from the Shona people of Southern Africa or Zimbabwe. Whereas many axes of this type are craved from plain wood with some decorative wire or carved decoration, this example is fully bound with brass wire in its entirety. Very fine wire woven to form a twist, the grip area with additional curled woven decoration, central section with a simpler straight twisted region. The head again totally covered with wirework with an additional band of circular wire motifs running around its circumference. The steel head is deeply chiselled with most attractive designs to the regions immediately behind the blade, which is triangular and with a dark age patina. There are some frayed and loose strands of wire around the grip bound area, otherwise this  Shona axe remains in fabulous condition and would have been used by a higher ranking warrior or noble. 19th century in date and measuring 24 inches in length approximately.   african