Damascus to London c.1880

By Rachel Beckles Willson Some time between 1878 – when it was made – and 1894, when it was presented as a gift to the Prince of Wales in London, an oud travelled to London. It is the first one we know that has a label inside revealing the maker, the place of the workshop,…

Cairo to London, 1867

By Rachel Beckles Willson England’s first oud arrived in 1867 thanks to some obscure international diplomacy involving Ismail Pasha, the Khedive of Egypt. The French state mounted its second Exposition Universelle in Paris that year, and it involved not only massive displays of French industry, but also exhibits from other nations. Many of these presented…