Finial of the Mahdī’s qubba

Item

Title

Finial of the Mahdī’s qubba
Tomb

Creator

Creator Unrecorded

Subject

death; Sudan; memorials; campaign mementoes; gifts
Architecture

Description

Large brass finial from the Mahdī’s domed tomb, or qubba. The dome was destroyed in late 1898 by gunboat fire from Gen. Kitchener's small Nile fleet. After the removal of the Mahdī’s body and its disposal in the Nile, the tomb was left in a badly damaged condition until reconstruction began in 1947, under the auspices of the Mahdī’s son, al-sayyid ʿAbd-al-Raḥman al-Mahdī, a successful businessman and important community leader. At least two other finials from the qubba have survived: at the Beit Khalifa Museum in Omdurman and at Blair Castle in Scotland. Interpretation at the base of the clock tower at Blair Castle states that the finial was "taken by Major the Marquis of Tullibardine [eldest son of the Duke of Atholl] Egyptian Cavalry after the Battle of Omdurman, from the N.E. corner tower of the Mahdi's tomb" in September 1898. Several images of the ruined qubba, dated between 1898 and 1932, are extant and could be used in the temporary exhibition. In February 1904, the finial was presented to HRH Princess Beatrice, wife of Prince Henry of Battenburg, by Colonel Drage of the Royal Artillery on the occasion of her visit to Khartoum. Before arriving at the REM, it was on display at the National Army Museum. [FHM 25/09/2019, FN/ON 09/02/2020]

Publisher

Making African Connections

Date

1896

Format

Height 1904mm; Depth 100mm; Width 280mm; Width 130mm
metal

Identifier

7007.7
GR 198

Rights

The Royal Collection © 2020 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Linked resources

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Relation
Title Alternate label Class
MAHDI'S TOMB Physical Object
railing Physical Object
Visit to the Tomb of the Mahdi (2020) Event