Here's my latest finds for my Zulu collection. The Zulu's apparently had a morbid fear of the Martini Henry socket bayonet. In fact, they were more frightened of that than they were the 577/450 round. It is claimed that this style of axe was a partial answer to the socket bayonet. The blade was extended at the front to form a sword-like extension. Although what they hoped to achieve with this is debatable. The Martin Henry, when fitted with the bayonet, had a reach of around six feet, well beyond the capabilities of the axe - which was only about 27 inches.
The shield was a recent purchase off the dreaded ebay. It is without doubt a genuine 19th century shield of a type known as the 'umbumbuluzo.' This was a small fighting shield often used in prefference to the much larger 'isihlangu' type. This particular example measures 30X15 inches. I believe I dropped lucky with this one. It hadn't been on ebay for much more than an hour and had a 'buy it now' price of £200. That may seem expensive for a rather battered and buckled example. But after soaking in water for five hours, I was able to straighten it out reasonably well and add a new pole to help keep it rigid. An example in the condition it is in now could set you back in excess of £500 from a dealer.