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Old 10th July 2021, 03:53 AM   #1
phil.reid
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Default African sword , islamic script?? kaskara sudan

Hello chaps , Sudanese sword with what i think is islamic script in both fullers , any knowledge on these?
cheers
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Old 10th July 2021, 09:25 AM   #2
Iain
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A nice older piece, the blade looks to be from a British infantry officer's pattern, perhaps the 1845. Others with better knowledge of military patterns will doubtless be able to identify it. The script looks to be acid etched and of course is a Sudanese addition. The mounts are quality and the sword likely dates to the end of the 19th century. Its harder and harder to find kaskara of this quality, yours is a nice example.
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Old 10th July 2021, 10:27 AM   #3
David R
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Interesting blade, how wide is it at the base?
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Old 10th July 2021, 11:41 AM   #4
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Agree with Ian 100%. Exceptionally nice piece. Congratulations!
I particularly love this style of a crossguard: it is a faithful homage to the old Mamluk examples. The wrapping is old, either rotten or dried, with the resulting major losses. This is the usual finding with old Sudanese kaskaras. I have a similar one with Peter Munich's mark and with the same wrapping story. Couple of years ago I even bought a new leather thread to re-wrap the handle, but every time I look at it, I hesitate: this is this sword's history .
A perennial dilemma of every collector: should we " honor" the sword by bringing it back to the fighting status or should we just stop the process of deterioration and make peace with patinas, pockmarks, inactive rust, cracks and losses of the organic parts etc, etc.

Immediate question: I have several Indian and Afghani swords with significant losses of the mastique holding the blade and the handle together with the resulting wobbly-ing. Should I re-fill lost parts of it with a reasonably authentic compound ( old sealing wax based on genuine lac with powdered bricks and a drop of dark paint )? I have been hesitating doing it for several years already....
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Old 10th July 2021, 01:02 PM   #5
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Very nice kaskara. I read somewhere that the type of rings on the scabbard are old. This is opposed to the round ones on most 20th C. pieces. This suggests that the scabbard could be original to the sword although it otherwise is in good shape. But without the cape & top band, likely silver. Others may be able to date the rings better.

Ed
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Old 11th July 2021, 01:30 AM   #6
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blades 3.2cm wide at base , interested if any idea of blade it came from if European , its more like the heavy Swedish blades of the 1800s in size, thickness and length. Yes the leathers very thin and fragile, its a concern handling to be honest
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Old 11th July 2021, 12:31 PM   #7
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I think it is a locally made blade (albeit in a european style). I think the work around the ricasso and what looks like inconsistency in the width of the fuller are too loose to be european, especially C19 european.
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Old 11th July 2021, 05:39 PM   #8
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Hello Ariel,

Quote:
Immediate question: I have several Indian and Afghani swords with significant losses of the mastique holding the blade and the handle together with the resulting wobbly-ing. Should I re-fill lost parts of it with a reasonably authentic compound ( old sealing wax based on genuine lac with powdered bricks and a drop of dark paint )? I have been hesitating doing it for several years already....
Any traditional recipe should do, I guess: European cutler's resin, Indonesian, etc.: The Malay/Indonesian basic recipe is based on resin (most likely based on local availability more than anything else) and some bees wax (for adding elasticity) mixed with crushed bricks or some other filler; additional mineral pigments can be added to adjust color to taste. Avoid open flames and beware when heating the ingredients as well as the final mix - highly flammable and sticking to clothes and skin!

If you come up with any authentic Ottoman, Caucasian, Persian, Indian recipes, please share them here!

Often enough it already helps if you gently heat the blade until the old resin mix softens and with some pushing fills any gaps; filling any missing resin may help stabilizing things though. For full functionality, the aged mix has to be fully replaced.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 11th July 2021, 05:39 PM   #9
David R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G View Post
I think it is a locally made blade (albeit in a european style). I think the work around the ricasso and what looks like inconsistency in the width of the fuller are too loose to be european, especially C19 european.
Regards
Richard
A difficult one to call, generally native made blades were double edged from manufacture. This is a single edged blade ground down on the back to be double edged. The ricasso is also very much a European feature.
3.2 cm is a damn wide blade, so I suggest a repurposed cavalry blade, possibly even a 1796 British heavy cavalry blade. Old British blades ended up in many places far away from home.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1796_Heavy_Cavalry_Sword
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Old 12th July 2021, 10:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David R View Post
A difficult one to call, generally native made blades were double edged from manufacture. This is a single edged blade ground down on the back to be double edged. The ricasso is also very much a European feature.
3.2 cm is a damn wide blade, so I suggest a repurposed cavalry blade, possibly even a 1796 British heavy cavalry blade. Old British blades ended up in many places far away from home.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1796_Heavy_Cavalry_Sword
Agreed, the blade is absolutely not locally made. Any questions around the fullers and finish are due to long working life the blade has had in the Sudanese context. 3.2cm is about right for the 1796, but I think the fuller termination is a bit different.
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Old 12th July 2021, 10:48 AM   #11
colin henshaw
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A good, older example of a Sudanese kaskara, well preserved... congratulations. I agree the blade was a single edged European blade, that has been altered to double edged.

Would be nice to have the Arabic inscription translated.
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