A fine Sudanese Mahdist Kaskara sword.
This remarkable sword dates to the second half of the 19th century. The form is traditionally associated with the Bedja and related tribes of Sudan, this form in particular is significant in being linked to the Mahdist rebellion against the British in the later 19th century, which famously ended with the death of General Gordon at Khartoum and the end of the rebellion at Omdurman. Swords, and weapons of the mahdist army were typically associated with crocodile and reptiles. Swords, daggers, axes and lances were frequently decorated with skin and entire animals as with this example. The young crocodile forms the basis of the sword scabbard with the entire head used as the mouth to the sword. The blade is a high quality blade with fullers and stamped with two ‘man in the moon’ makers stamps on both sides. The iron crosspiece of cruciform shape, the handle also decorated with yellow scaled crocodile skin with a round flat pommel to the top. There is an old typed tag attached. This sword and the related lizard skin mounted kaskara both came from an old UK collection recently