Originally Posted by stephen wood
...thanks Jim. I took the dating with a pinch of salt...
What about the tang? Isn't there usually a hole to secure the hilt? (see image) Also the tang looks like it was added rather than being an integral part of the blade. I general though I think it could be a kaskara...
The "thuluth" blades tend to be shorter, wider, blunt and thinner in my experience.
Re. the museum, the seller took it to Rochester Museum in the 80's...not as if Christopher Spring had a look
With that 'optimistic' date thrown out so cavalierly, I completely agree, and if someone said Spring had made that assessment I would've fallen over!!
I'm not really well versed at commenting on the hilting process of these weapons, as most of my observation has been external, but I am inclined to think David is correct, the tang seems unusually short. (thank you for those links David!).
As we have seen, with the example you posted previous to this, the mounting and refurbishing of these weapons in Sudan, seems not to be simply a tourist intended cottage industry, but swords are still being traditional heirlooms that do often receive much older blades. In many Sudanese regions, especially Darfur I believe, the kaskara sword remains a proud traditional accoutrement, though not necessarily intended for actual use.
Perhaps that is why the tang on this one was short as it needed only to place the blade in the hilt, regardless of functionality.
It seems that the 'thuluth' acid etched blades are often decoratively applied, contrary to many of the meaningfully inscribed 'lohr' type panels carrying reverently placed invocations on most higher quality kaskara. Most of these profusely etched blades derive from the Mahdist period, and were of course produced for many years thereafter. I have never fully understood whether this decorative calligraphy was intelligible or not. In most cases of the very thoroughly covering use, it was not.
Thank you for the great graphics showing the mounting characteristics on these. It's truly helpful to see how these were put together!
All very best regards,