|26th April 2005||Cartridge case for sale.|
Just had a look on ebay. Some blokes selling a rusty bashed up cartridge case from a Martini Henry.
Get this! He says its from the battle of Isandlwana. Even gives the location where it was found! At the forward firing line.
Do these items come up often?
How the hell do you authenticate?
What would it be worth?
|27th April 2005||Mikke Snook|
The removal of artifacts from SA battlefields is unlawful. Remember that there was a serious outbreak of grave-robbing at Isandlwana in the last decade. You will not be able to authenticate the item: it therefore has no value. There should be no trading in such items.
|27th April 2005||TREVOR|
Cheers for that mate.
I have no trouble shopping this creep to ebay.
|28th April 2005||mark|
in my humble (and misinformed) opinion
only the main battlfield is fenced off and hence protected , so in theory ammunition outside of the fence is fair game
on my last visit i was pestered into buying a cartridge and brass button, both of which were reburied in the little cave on the kopje
taking into account a 1000 rifles on the main firing line (that most likely is further out than generally accepted) eaching firing 25 rounds ... thats 25 000 cases just lying there
i DEFINETLY do not agree with picking up artifacts,but then again i like seeing them in museums, perhaps where they should be donated?
|28th April 2005||Derek|
I would like to reply to the Mark and Mike with regard`s this person Trevor who wrote about me in this forum.
1st of all i totally agree with the law of unlawfull digging on the Zulu battlefield`s these item`s were brought back from SA in the early 1960`s through to the 70`s.
This Trvor did not even take time to email me and ask me or to find out who i am.
It`s all very well calling people a creep on a forum but i would have liked a chance to at least defend myself.
I supplied TREVOR with my email and phone number let`s see if he contact`s me.
|28th April 2005||Nigel|
I definetely don't condone anybody calling another forum member a creep, but there are a few interesting questions being raised here. Firstly, the ruling about removal of artifacts from the battlefields hasn't always been there, so there are numerous pieces collected in the 50s and 60s in private hands, and I see no problem with those being offerred for sale. Provenance on these items is a tricky one - in many cases it's little more than 'a mate of my grandad picked them up at....', but then as those living close to the battlefields did, and still do, sell items to tourists there's a good chance the story is true. It's a case of buyer beware with items like these, but then even in badly weathered condition a .45 MH rolled case round is easily identified as such so if nothing else it will be from the correct period. Authentication, to some degree, is possible by analysis of the soil - if any - attached to the item but that's going a bit far methinks! As for me, I don't bother with these ebay items anymore but I do have several battlefield relics in my collection which did come via ebay, but they had superb provenance and were being sold by a descendant of a Royal Engineer who surveyed the lower Tugela in 1880 and collected items from several sites including Rorke's Drift and Isandlwana. The items had been on the ground for less than a year and were in marvelous condition, and the seller had no difficulty in proving his story. He was certainly no creep! As battlefield items are starting to command much higher prices these days (mainly because of the collecting ban now in force), can we really blame people who have them and don't wish to keep them for trying to flog them on eBay?
|28th April 2005||Keith Smith|
Your comment that the battlefield outside the fence is fair game is nonsense. Having visited every AZ War battlefield in KwaZulu-Natal, I know that Isandlwana is the only one which has a fence. I guess that means you are entitled to go and dig at Khambula or anywhere else?
I know that Africans do so, because I have been offered items myself, but to buy them is just ecouraging the practice. We will never stop the desecration of sites, not to mention graves, if this is allowed to persist.
|28th April 2005||mike snook|
A sense of perspective is called for - some items were of course removed prior to the imposition of the relevant modern laws. But as a matter of principle I personally would like to see such items housed in proper museum conditions - so that they are preserved properly, logged and recorded, and kept in the public domain. Once private trading is underway in a potentially lucrative market, there is huge scope for rip-offs - so as ever caveat emptor. I offer no view on individual items. Each case will be different. Many transactions will be perfectly legal and above board. However it is not unknown on battlefields around the world for locals to bury worthless items for a few months to weather them and then attempt to pass them off for something they are not.
We must however be aware that once lucrative trading in such commodities is underway and established, we greatly increase the risk of grave robbing on South African battlefields, not least our greatly treasured Isandlwana.
Mark. I disagree with your remarks about the boundary fence. It is what it is - a boundary fence. Historical artefacts are artefacts wherever they are found.
Certainly any items found today must be surrendered to the competent authority which is Amafa (KZN Heritage). People have gone to prison for failing to do so.
|28th April 2005||mark|
to keith smith
i was referring to isandlawana and isandlwana alone .
based on the fence ruling, people have been allowed to do digs , use a metal detector etc on the unfenced portion, even Ian Knight did a dig and made a guess that the firing line was further out than expected , this was based on the discovery of ammunition box handles .
so i assumed only the fenced portion was protected.
and i never condoned the purchase or selling of the items , there were two kids selling a few goodies and i bought them and reburied them
i guess i felt that then i was sure they would stay on the battle field
|28th April 2005||Graeme|
Having read the thread of this item I would like to add my piece. These battlefields were looted for relics soon after the battles by both sides and for many years after, and many items taken as souvenirs by both sides. Hopefully the items and the battlefields are now both being preserved for posterity in National or private collections like other battlefield sites around the world. I have met Derek and seen his collection of artefacts and was lucky enough to buy a few relic Martini cases from him. He is a new aquaintance to me and in my opinion a dedicated and thoroughly honest individual with great knowledge of the Zulu Wars. He has an interesting collection of dug period artefacts that are certainly of that period and commensurate with having been buried for some cosiderable time. No one can be 100% sure of the provenance of any artefacts from these famous battles, but I believed his provenance and was prepared to take a risk and feel privileged to have in my collection a few mangle cases that could have been there. After all if thes case had remained in the soil much longer than the 1960's nothing would have been left of them but dust! The buyer must make his own decision, after all I understand that around 20,000 cartridges were fired at Rorke's Drift. I am sure no museum wants every single one of them !
|29th April 2005||Carl Daeche|
I would like to add a comment and perhaps play devils advocate here. Though I would not condone grave robbing in any shape or form I ask this question. If anyone was to advertise on ebay a tunic worn at the battle of Isandhlwana (or any other AZW battle) by an unfortunate soul, who would not give their right arm for such a treasured item?
We are after talking about fragments of antique brass all but corroded away that provide the market of collectors some connection with the sites in Africa and in a lot of ways provide welcomed subsidy to local people.
Why should items only be held in the dusky attics of museums and not enjoyed and circulated like most items between collectors and enthusiasts alike?
Gentlemen are we not at risk of over contemplating our navals here?
Sorry if this stirs up a hornets nest but I have heard it all before?
|29th April 2005||John Young|
I'm with you on this one. What I would like to see would be an authorised sales point organised by AMAFA. That way any money raised from the sales should be filtered back into the local community.
I believe there is a shop at Gettysburg which sells Minie balls & fragments of cannon shell, but only after the location of their finding has been correctly logged and recorded. Why not do the same at Isandlwana?
There is still an illegal trade of 'recently found' items from the battles of KwaZulu-Natal on eBay, which are in contravention of provincial law. The legal remit covering the battlefield sites can be found on http://www.heritagekzn.co.za/downloads/amafa_legislation.pdf
|29th April 2005||Derrick|
How curious is the juxtaposition of this thread with the news reported today by Peter of the possible recovery (slim maybe), of rifles from the battlefields. What would your reaction be to a positive identification of a rifle belonging to one of the fallen on Isandlwana? Return it to the battle site where presumably it fell? Display it in a site theme centre? Sell it to a museum with the intention of rewarding the local community? (Does this last ever really happen or do the middlemen get in the way?) Auction it to collectors? What does the forum think?
|29th April 2005||Derek|
Gentlemen i never realised what my answer to Trevor`s forum question would raise so many more answer`s and question`s.
If it prove`s nothing else it is are love for the anglo Zulu War of 1879.
For what it`s worth i think i can almost agree with everyone who as replied to this in a way your all right.
If for no other reason event`s that took place over 120 year`s ago are still being talked about on pc`s by us guy`s in 2005.
|1st May 2005||Mike McCabe|
On another tack, it's wise to remember that the Martini Henry was the second most numerous rifle to the Mauser in the armies of the Transvaal Republic and OFS at the opening of the 1899-1902 Boer War (though usually using the improved cartridge cases of the 1880s and subsequently). Also, it was often kept for many years afterwards as a 'spare' heavy game rifle on farms, until the more easily available and safer 7.62 calibre rifles replaced it. So, there will be numerous cartridge cases about and these will not necessarily trace back to the Zulu War. Based on earlier visits to the KZN battlefields the few remaining sites where significant numbers of cartridge cases and spent rounds were still occasionally found are now seriously diminished - or in one particular case deliberately covered over - and the appearance in quantity of genuinely attributable finds (which are legally non-compliant, as others above clearly state) is both fairly doubtful, and damaging to the longer term interests of conserving what little archaeological heritage remains intact.
|6th July 2005||JOHN|
I WAS LOOKING THROUGH THE SITE AND CAME ONTO THIS DISCUSSION SO I THOUGHT I WOULD ADD MY BIT . I HAVE TWO CASES FROM ISANDLWAN WHICH WERE GIVEN TO ME MANY YEARS AGO WHICH I WAS TOLD WAS RECOVERED FROM THE SPOT WHERE RUSSELLS ROCKET BATTERY WAS OVER RUN , THESE WERE RECOVERED IN 1964 AFTER A STORM WASH OUT REVIELD THEM TOGETHER WITH A ROCKET , THE ROCKET WAS PRESENTED TO THE AUTHORITIES . I WAS INTERESTED IN WHAT MARK AND DATE THE AMO WAS MANUFACTURED IN AS I HAVE AN UNOPENED 1875 PACKET AND FOUND THAT THE MARK 111 AMO WAS INTRODUCED IN AUG1873 YOU CAN IDENTIFY MARK 111 BY THE INSPECTION PORT ON THE SIDE OF THE CASE. INSPECTING MY ISANDLWANA CASES THEY HAVE NO INSPECTION PORT SO WERE MADE IN 1872 TO EARLY 1873 THE ONLY CHANCE YOU HAVE TO SEE IF YOU R CASES ARE CORRECT OF THE ZULU WAR IS TO LOOK FOR NO INSPECTION PORTS