Algerian Short Sword

A short sword from Algeria featuring a Cross of Agadez shape finial on the hilt.

Code AN52B

A short sword or large dagger from Algeria, c. first half of 20th C. This is an Algerian version of the Morrocan sboula. The blade shows European influence. The cross form finial to the hilt is also found in Berber and Tuareg edged weapons and is sometimes referred to as Cross of Agadez, of which there are many variations. Although the symbolism of the Agadez cross shape is often debated, it is generally thought to represent the four cardinal directions or four corners of the world. Swords with this understanding of the Cross of Agadez were typically presented by father to son as a right of passage. 

The blade has a flattened diamond cross section with an iron cross guard and simple brass ferrule. The two piece wooden scabbard is held together with pierced brass bands and the wood is decorated with geometric carving.


  • Total length in scabbard = 19-13/16 inches
  • Dagger total length = 18-9/16 inches 
  • Blade length = 13 inches
  • Blade at widest = 1-1/8 inches