Originally Posted by Iain
I'd be curious if there are any firmly dated examples or bring backs exhibiting this type of work that can be used to establish a baseline.
Iain touches on an important point here. There are many examples of ornate, non-practical Sudanese weapons around, usually described as "Mahdist". Typically these items could be made of sheet metal, with copious inlay/decoration, crocodile skin etc., giving an exotic look. I've often had a suspicion that many at least were made/assembled after the Mahdist period for sale to Europeans... However, I have never seen solid evidence either way.
It should be borne in mind that after the Anglo-Egyptian re-conquest of the Sudan in 1898/99 enormous numbers of captured weapons existed, either from the various battles, disarmament or seizure of armouries in Omdurman.
I suppose the Blair Castle, Perthshire collection would be a good indicator, as the material was brought back at the time by Lord Tullibardine who fought in the Battle of Omdurman. Photography was not permitted when I visited some years ago, but I now see a few images have appeared on the internet...
Can anyone add to this subject ?