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Brev. Lt-Col. R.H. Buller, VC, Staff: 2/60th KRRC-Zungwini,Hlobane, Khambula, Ulundi
Copper Wire Work BullerBrev.[Mac and Shad] (Isandula Collection)
Anglo-Zulu war: Walking the battlefield of Kambula
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 Copper Wire Work

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rusteze

rusteze

Posts : 2856
Join date : 2010-06-02

Copper Wire Work Empty
PostSubject: Copper Wire Work   Copper Wire Work EmptyThu Mar 28, 2019 8:40 pm

This is not the most significant topic to come up on the forum, but I have a bee in my bonnet about copper wire work. The auction highlighted by Admin yesterday makes great play of the copper wire work on Zulu artifacts such as clubs and spears, and adds a premium to the expected prices. There is no doubt that great skill is involved in manipulating the wire and that continues to this day. But it surely cannot be a sign of any antiquity of the object. The Zulu had no means of producing copper wire themselves so it was presumably "acquired" from Western sources. And prior to the telegraph I cannot think of any application that used or needed a significant amount of copper wire. I accept that by the mid 1870s the telegraph was in use in SA but before that what was the source? My conclusion is that copper wire decoration is a reasonably modern innovation and is by no means a sign of ethnic antiquity. Or am I missing something?

Steve
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littlehand

littlehand

Posts : 7072
Join date : 2009-04-24
Age : 50
Location : Down South.

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PostSubject: Re: Copper Wire Work   Copper Wire Work EmptyThu Mar 28, 2019 10:45 pm

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littlehand

littlehand

Posts : 7072
Join date : 2009-04-24
Age : 50
Location : Down South.

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PostSubject: Re: Copper Wire Work   Copper Wire Work EmptyThu Mar 28, 2019 10:57 pm

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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

Posts : 7224
Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 72
Location : Cape Town South Africa

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PostSubject: Re: Copper Wire Work   Copper Wire Work EmptyFri Mar 29, 2019 2:15 am

Steve
Copper wire was brought in by the traders, an important trade commodity.
Frank
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90th

90th

Posts : 9966
Join date : 2009-04-07
Age : 63
Location : Melbourne, Australia

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PostSubject: Copper wire work    Copper Wire Work EmptyFri Mar 29, 2019 4:07 am

Hi Frank
Yes indeed Copper Wire was indeed bought in by traders , wire work was more than likely around at the time of the AZW , but it was by no means common , many of the Knobkerries , Spears etc were more than likely decorated after the conflict , when the Copper wire was more readily available , the pieces themselves could well pre date the wire itself .
90th
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barry

barry

Posts : 911
Join date : 2011-10-21
Location : Algoa Bay

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PostSubject: Copper wire work   Copper Wire Work EmptyFri Mar 29, 2019 5:14 am

Hi All,

Only those deluded will believe that  the presence of copper wire in any artifact wiil give it value in terms of AZW authenticty. If fact, its presence is the very antihesis as it firmly dates the article to many decades post AZW.

regards

barry
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rusteze

rusteze

Posts : 2856
Join date : 2010-06-02

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PostSubject: Re: Copper Wire Work   Copper Wire Work EmptyFri Mar 29, 2019 9:40 am

Well, I feel vindicated which is a novel experience! Thank you gentlemen. I take the point about trade goods, but I also know that C Telegraph Coy. RE regularly "lost" long stretches of copper wire soon after they were erected.

Steve
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

Posts : 7224
Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 72
Location : Cape Town South Africa

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PostSubject: Re: Copper Wire Work   Copper Wire Work EmptyFri Mar 29, 2019 10:01 am

90th
Fully agree:r;: Off this afternoon to RD, should get in around 9 tonight, will have a drink on the deck for you.
Barry
Youve been at the dictionary again havent you, Very Happy
Steve
Still happening today, every morning the trains into Cape Town get delayed because of cable theft, this time its more for the profit though.

Cheers
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