Thread: A nice kaskara
View Single Post
Old 8th September 2017, 09:23 AM   #23
Iain's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Morava - Olomoucký kraj - Czech Republic
Posts: 1,529

Originally Posted by Jim McDougall

Though it is well established that there was a hugely subsidized market in these regions in the occupation after Omdurman (1898) for souveniers, the examples were I believe of simpler character, and not with this level of detail as inscriptions etc.

The short thuluth inscribed blades commonly seen with brass guards belong in the tourist category I believe. They are exceptionally uniform. So, I don't think the items are always that simple, but usually not that well made.

I am more inclined to think of this example as a heirloom blade (in much of Darfur and Sudan the kaskara is still held traditionally by families) which was remounted with this fancy hilt and using a later crossguard (these are of 'Ali Dinar' period up to and during WWI). According to Reed (1985) these with 'X' at center are Darfur oriented, but they also were made later in Kasalla.

The blade itself I think was indeed of Mahdiyya vintage, and for a tribal chief or individual of some stature in the Mahdist ranks. Nice piece!

I have no doubt the blade seen here is of some quality, five fuller blades are unusual and I find it an attractive piece.

Regarding the crossguard plenty of of this type with the central 'X' are in clearly dated bring back collections like Blair Castle, they don't belong exclusively to the 20th century Ali Dinar groupings.
Iain is online now   Reply With Quote