Boer patriotic pocket knife : South Africa

Accession Number REL23591
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Personal Equipment
Maker Okapi
Place made Germany
Date made c 1900
Conflict South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)

Souvenir pocket knife. On one side is the arms of the Second South African Republic within a wreath, with flags behind. Underneath is impressed 'TRANSVAAL'. In the centre is the text 'Eendrach maakt Macht'. Beneath this is the text 'ORANGE FREE STATE', with a version of the Orange Free State coat of arms within a wreath, with flags behind. The other side bears an image of Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger, with 'KRUGER' below it, and an image of Christiaan Rudolf de Wet with 'DE WET' below it. The knife has two blades, each being attached to opposite ends of the knife. The longer blade is stamped with 'OKAPI MADE IN GERMANY' and an image of an animal of the same name.

History / Summary

German made Boer souvenir pocket knife. Germany was sympathetic towards the Boers and the knife features two prominant Boers leaders, Stephanus 'Paul' Kruger and Christiaan de Wet. Kruger was born in 1825. Following the annexation of the Transvaal by Britain in 1877, he became the leader of the resistance movement. In December 1880 Kruger was elected President of the Transvaal. After the First South African War (1880-81) Kruger played an important role in the negotiations with the British. In October 1900 he left South Africa in a Dutch vessel and went into exile in Europe, living in Marseilles, the Netherlands and Switzerland, where he died in 1904. De Wet was born in the Boer republic of the Orange Free State in 1854. He served in the First South African War 1880-1881. He later fought in the Second South African War from 1899 and took an active role in the peace negotiations of 1902.