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Brev. Lt-Col. R.H. Buller, VC, Staff
Brev. Lt-Col. R.H. Buller, VC, Staff: 2/60th KRRC-Zungwini,Hlobane, Khambula, Ulundi [Mac and Shad] Isandula Collection
Anglo-Zulu War 1879 - Dr David Rattray
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 ZULU SHIELD AND ASSEGAI WITH AMAZING PROVENANCE.

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littlehand

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PostSubject: ZULU SHIELD AND ASSEGAI WITH AMAZING PROVENANCE.   Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:27 pm

ZULU SHIELD AND ASSEGAI WITH AMAZING PROVENANCE.
a Zulu shield and spear from the battle of Ulundi. The battle of Ulundi was the final battle in the Anglo Zulu War, it occurred on the 4th July 1879 when the British finally defeated the Zulu Army and razed their Zulu capital being the Royal Kraal of Ulundi. The battle of Ulundi consisted of various smaller skirmishes and resulted in the final defeat of the Zulu Forces by a Cavalry charge which consisted of 17th Lancers, 1st Kings Dragoon Guards, Colonial Cavalry, Native units etc., Various smaller infantry actions also took place during the battle, British Regiments involved were the 1st and 13th Light Infantry, 21st Regiment Royal Scots Fusiliers. The Zulu King Cetshwayo was eventually captured and was exiled in London. The shield is of typical Zulu style and of the dimensions carried in the period 1879. The colouring of the shield is also interesting and the colours were used to denote various regiments and groups. It is in generally excellent condition with a fine patination overall and much of the original fur in place. There is an area of wear to the upper section where the warriors chin would have rested upon the shield in the combat position. There are one or two small stab marks, probably from British weapons. There is some folding to the base of the shield which is due to the item being stood for many years. The stick to the rear of the shield has been removed and replaced by the stabbing spear, this is absolutely normal and this is how thousands of these items were displayed in country houses throughout Great Britain and the Commonwealth after the Zulu defeat. The provenance of the shield is highly interesting. An auction in the North of England in 2004 contained a large collection and possibly one of the best collections of Zulu War memorabilia ever sold. The collection belonged to a Mr. Slack who at 62 after a lifetime of collecting decided to sell his collection, Mr. Slack bought his collection from various sources and he did receive some items which were formerly the property of a John Poyner, Poyner was the properties manager during the making of the famous film Zulu, he was tasked with much of the research into the props department, one of the places he did his research was the Natal Police Museum, he borrowed various items from their archives to be copied for the film, on the completion of the film the Natal Police gifted several of the items to him including this shield and spear which were picked up from the battle of Ulundi and stored within their museum. The lot consists of a photocopy of the lot numbers and the page from the auction catalogue, also there is a letter of provenance signed by J. Bullock Anderson, who is one of the partners of the auction house and the letter clearly states that the Zulu Assegai and shield were removed from the battlefield of Ulundi as formerly part of the collection of John Poyner, properties manager, during the making of the film Zulu, he was presented with these items by the academic staff of the Natal Mounted Police Museum from their historic collection. Further to this there is a large format newspaper article which is a report about the auction and sale, there are numerous colour photographs within the newspaper article and the largest photograph is of the auctioneer, a John Anderson, holding the same shield we are now lucky enough to own, as well as the auction catalogue. It is extremely rare to find Zulu shields with provenance from the battlefield and true Zulu shields are in themselves rare and desirable objects, but to find one in excellent condition with fine patination overall and an excellent and traceable provenance is of extreme rarity, coupled with the fact that the shield is linked to one of the most classic war films of all time we feel this is a most exciting opportunity and would be almost impossible to improve upon for the collector. The condition throughout is as mentioned above, stored and dusty, there is a good stiffness overall to the hide. There is a fine dark patination over the rear of the shield, the haft is in excellent condition for the spear with age cracking through its length, this is due to the expansion of the wood. There are one or two tiny holes from mice of some such. The leather thong area to the haft of the steel shaft is excellent and hard. The point itself is of good iron with a good sharpness throughout, a slightly blunted tip due to combat use.

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Brett Hendey

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PostSubject: Re: ZULU SHIELD AND ASSEGAI WITH AMAZING PROVENANCE.   Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:39 am

While I don't doubt that these relics do indeed date from the Zulu War, I am intrigued by the references to the "Natal Police Museum" and "Natal Mounted Police Museum and the "academic staff" of this museum.

The Natal Mounted Police ceased to exist in 1894, when it and other law-enforcement agencies in Natal combined to become the Natal Police. The NP itself ceased to exist in 1913, when its members were transferred into the South African military (SA Mounted Rifles), the SA Police and the SA Prisons. As far as I know, there has never been a NMP/NP Museum. Also, it is highly improbable that any formal South African museum at that time would give away part of its collections. (The situation today may be different if a cash transaction was involved.)

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Brett
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90th

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PostSubject: zulu shield and assegai with amazing provenance    Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:01 am

Hi All .
I must agree with Brett , I've never heard of a NMP / NP Museum . Maybe Ken Gillings can shed some light on this . Idea .
cheers 90th.
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Neil Bates



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PostSubject: Re: ZULU SHIELD AND ASSEGAI WITH AMAZING PROVENANCE.   Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:00 pm

Could this be the Himeville Museum which has a connection with the Natal Mounted Police?
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: ZULU SHIELD AND ASSEGAI WITH AMAZING PROVENANCE.   Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:44 pm

Himeville MuseumThe stone buildings which now comprises the Himeville Museum were built in 1900 as the last of Natal's loop-holed forts before housing prisoners until 1972. An open-air exhibition of settler and agricultural history is surrounded by many display rooms housing themed exhibits.

Covering the Bulwer, Underberg and Himeville communities, it commemorates the way of life of all the erstwhile inhabitants of the last frontier of Natal and has a fairly extensive archives.

The Himeville Museum is one of the top rural museums in the country due to its wide range of exhibits. From fossils and stone age artifacts to a comprehensive display on the Bushmen, the early settlers as well as African beadwork and artifacts.

The displays also cover the Anglo Boer War and the two World Wars. There is an old post office and a school room, wild life display and many farming implements and machinery including a blacksmiths forge and a workshop. The very knowledgeable curator will field any questions you may have and might quiz you as well!

The museum is housed in the old stone fort or laager started in 1896 by the Border Mounted Rifles sent to police the area after the LeFleur Rebellion [2] of 1895. Completed in 1899 it was only used once during the Bambata rebellion of 1906 although no fighting took place nearby. It was taken over by the Natal Mounted Police after the Anglo Boer War and turned into a prison by the addition of the warders house and magistrates court along with a number of cells. Abandoned as a prison in 1972 it became a museum in 1976 and was declared a National Monument in 1978. It is now affiliated to the KZN Provincial Museum Service.

It was taken over by the Natal Mounted Police after the Anglo Boer War and turned into a prison by the addition of the warders house and magistrates court along with a number of cells. Abandoned as a prison in 1972 it became a museum in 1976 and was declared a National Monument in 1978. It is now affiliated to the KZN Provincial Museum Service.Covering the Bulwer, Underberg and Himeville communities it commemorates the way of life of all the erst while inhabitants of the last frontier of Natal and has a fairly extensive archives which is available to any would be student of local history.


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Brett Hendey

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PostSubject: Re: ZULU SHIELD AND ASSEGAI WITH AMAZING PROVENANCE.   Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:02 am

The Fort Durnford Museum in Estcourt and the Fort Nongqayi Museum in Eshowe were also occupied by the Natal Mounted Police, Natal Police and Zululand Police at various times.

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Brett
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