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Title Sudanese Kaskara with 34-inch broadsword blade
Nationality Italian
Period c 1740
Sold
 (This item is subject to special postage, click here for more information.)

This is an export blade from Belluno, north of Venice. Most of these swords were brought back as souvenirs from the 1896-97 Campaign in Egypt. The crescent moon mark is a pun on the town name Belluno! Later Solingen swordsmiths pirated this mark, in the same way that they cribbed Spanish and Passau marks.

This, however, is the Belluno original, viz an almost identical blade on an 18th century British cavalry broadsword on my site, which, apart from being a little longer and with a more pronounced taper, is very similar, but unmarked. Similar blades were exported to Scotland, where they provided fearsome bite to the basket hilt swords of the era.

Both the Hausa and the Tuareg used these blades widely, having bought them throughout north Africa from traders who had acquired them from Europe, in this case Belluno. Local blades in Africa are invariably of vastly inferior quality to this product. The crossguard is possibly also made in Italy, being of superior work, not what one would expect from Sudan in the mid-18th century.

The Fuzzy-Wuzzies (Sudanese Muslim rebels - the direct ancestors of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt) must have been a brave lot, as Winston Churchill records that their heads brushed his boots as he shot them with his C96 broom-handled Mauser pistol in the nullah at Omdurman. Indeed, Rudyard Kipling also celebrated their bravery in his poem 'Fuzzy-Wuzzy', where he declares that they were 'the finest of the lot' of the British Empire's opponents.

The hilt still has two-thirds of its original leather wrap (over thin cotton on a wood core). The marks would appear to be quite lightly punched, partly worn with age and subsequent cleaning. It measures 4.8cm at the forte, narrowing to 4cm at the point and is 86.5cm long.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.


[Edged Weapons : Swords : Italian : 18th Century]

testimonials

The RFC buttons are Wonderful, thank you.

D D, Canada, 11.11.2009

The pommel arrived safely today... It's a nice little object and really quite tactile... As usual, it was a pleasure to do business with you and I look forward to finding something else in your stock to tempt me.

J M, UK, 09.05.2009

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