Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
That's a good suggestion David, and you're right there do seem to be some unusual scripts used in Islamic context. The 'thuluth' you mention used on Mahdist swords is actually found as well in Mamluk metalwork and typically bold characters which are acid etched. As I say I am far from being even close to any linguistic skills, but unsure this would qualify.
I tried looking into other scripts and found Perso-Arabic script for the Tajik language, which was used in Uzbekistan, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkmenistan. Ukraine and Afghanistan and surely others where this people locate. Ottoman presence and influence was remarkably wide of course, which is why we have tried to consider these regions to find close match to the inscription.
While not a match perhaps, it might be a script which influenced that in this inscription if is is indeed not in an exact language, but then the range would widen greatly. All we can do is try at this point until we get a response from someone who recognizes this.