Nigerian gladius

length: 18"
blade: 13 3/8"
blade width: 2"
grip: 4 1/4"
guard: 3"
weight: 2 lbs 15.4 oz

Here's something rather interesting - an eastern Nigerian short sword styled after the Roman gladius. It took me a while to identify this sword - a friend sent it to me earlier in the year because he knew of my fondness for mid-1800's European sidearms, and he thought this might be a variation upon the French 1832 "cabbage chopper" or the US Civil War-era sidearms based upon the French version. I searched for months for an identification to this sword, and finally heard from a collector who had lived in Nigeria for a dozen years that this sword was from the early 1900's (possibly a bit older), and was a traditional eastern Nigerian weapon/sidearm. It's fascinating to ponder the origins of the style - is it a holdover from the Romans, or more recently inspired from the French? Either way, it's a rare weapon. Short heavy steel blade, solid blackened brass/bronze grip and guard.