Hippo-hide sjambok?


August 2, 2014, 02:00 PM
An acquaintance is offering a 37" hippo-hide sjambok for sale. It's very plain and has no historic or cultural value that I know of. What is it worth? I have searched high and low on the Internet and can find nothing comparable.

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August 2, 2014, 02:25 PM
I bought a hippo hide sjambok many years ago, I think I paid about $80 for it. Shipping from Africa was another $40-50, I think.

It is a very rare item so I think it'd be worth a lot more than $80 nowadays, but at least you won't be needing to pay for international courier!

August 2, 2014, 02:40 PM
It real or one of the many, um, fakes? Just curious.

August 2, 2014, 05:27 PM
Really? There's a problem with fake hippo sjamboks in North America?

Mine is real. -Or at least it's the hide of something big & dense from Africa. It certainly isn't cow, buffalo nor elephant hide, I've handled those to know the difference.

This sjambok is really heavy & dense, with a natural stiffness like a wooden rod, stiff enough for me to do eye thrusts with the point, yet it is flexible enough for me to force wrap it around my waist, like how people supposedly carried them in Africa. It feels very solid like canvas micarta and I am unable to indent it with my thumbnail, like I can with most woods and rawhide.

Went to my backyard where I severed several 1/4" branches with just wrist flicks. The denseness of it helps to crush as well as whip through an object.

It is about 40" in length and coated black (I suspect shoe polish), underneath, the hide itself is gray with a bit of yellow.

August 2, 2014, 08:42 PM
This one is as CWL describes, though more of a mottled yellowish-white than grey. It has dark streaks on one side, running about halfway up from the butt. It looks like this is where the rolled hide was joined, as there's slight gaps where this streaking occurs on the thicker part of the sjambok.

August 3, 2014, 03:38 PM
If it real hippo hide you should offer at least $120 if it is in real good shape.

August 4, 2014, 11:19 AM
As an "expert" on the Sjambok ( see: The Ancient Art of the Sjambok
http://www.cafepress.com/meijin3.651778457 )

1. http://store.rojeleather.com/genuine-hippopotamus-skin-black/ Sells from $45 / ft. sq. as leather - proportionally priced per sq. ft. as the size increases.

2. If you have documented proof that it is hippo, then you have something of value to a collector. Based on the photos and description CWL provided, I would say - $250 for his. If your friend's likewise is in such good condition.

3. Without documented proof, and in used condition (good, but not new) - $150 OBO.

Contact Lynn Thompson - owner of ColdSteel via customerservice@coldsteel.com
I'm certain he'll make you an offer.

I'm interested, but if I buy another sjambok, the wife would use it on me! LOL

Fred Fuller
August 5, 2014, 12:26 PM
Cold Steel used to sell 'real' sjamboks, years ago. They were replaced with plastic before I had the good sense to buy some, unfortunately.

I have no idea what one would be worth now... I did manage to get one of the white waxwood crooktop canes CS sold at one time, and have been offered 5X what I paid for it in recent years.

ETA - apparently Amazon was selling them up until a couple of years ago as well ... http://jamestwohats.com/BackPackBlog/?p=690

August 6, 2014, 04:33 PM

How is that white waxwood? I've seen it offered at BudK and others as a straight 4' and 3' stick.

Fred Fuller
August 11, 2014, 09:14 AM
Light and strong, so far anyway.

I don't know how hard it is to bend...

August 12, 2014, 10:32 AM
Well did you buy it?????

August 12, 2014, 11:34 AM
I didn't buy it. He decided on $150 based on the fact that these are almost nowhere to be seen. I'm interested in the piece but not that interested.

August 12, 2014, 03:12 PM
Sorry but that is a fair market value for a real Shambok.

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