Originally Posted by kahnjar1
I think that to tie an item down as being Habaabi is perhaps being a little too definite. You have stated elsewhere that these COULD have come from as far away as Asir, a distance of some 1000km, which indicates to me at least, that it COULD have originated from almost anywhere in the west of the Arabian Peninsula.
The fact (as you say) that Omanis refer to these particular Jambiyas as "habaabi", would suggest that it is maybe a convenient term applied to Yemeni/Saudia jambiya, which can not more accurately be placed to other centres of making.
I personally do not think that this Jambiya could possibly be of Omani manufacture, as the silver decoration (apart from the scabbard toe) does not show the typical scroll silverwork of most Omani Khanjars, and the hilt is definitely not in the typical Omani style.
I draw this conclusion from a website which I can not mention here, but you will know what I mean.
Salaams kahnjar1~ I can tell you this is a baffling piece. You are right about the toe... Its Omani. The tube shaped wrap on the Hilt is Omani... I reckon off a Royal Khanjar. The silver on the cuff matches the silver on the throat of the Scabbard... Its Omani and linked in style to the tubular ring. The floral buttons on the hilt are either from the Habaabi style or straight from a Royal Omani Khanjar. The blade looks Omani. The Scabbard though two rings are missing looks Omani. The Rhino perhaps off another dagger.
I think the initial assessment is wrong .. but it was close !
What you have here is an Omani Khanjar probably used by the Jebali of Salalah (Dhofar) stripped back to the leather at the scabbard minus a couple of rings perhaps with a toe added from another Khanjar and a Rhino hilt from?? Yemen...Unless it is the Rhino hilt of an original Royal Omani Khanjar with all or much of the silver adornment removed; which would explain the central silver tubular ring and the floral decoration. Could we in fact be looking at the remains of an entire 7 ringer Omani Royal Khanjar?
This is typical of the Salalah mish-mash style but does not distract from the aesthetics of this piece This is typically what the Salalah dagger can go through as it is personalised or customised down the ages.
Habaabi is definitely a term to describe Yemeni weapons of the nature already described and similar to the Omani Muscat Style likely because of the trade linkage to that region. Currently it is hugely difficult to visit the area otherwise I would be there in a flash as the region has some fascinating history. I will see if the Muscat museums can throw some more light into that dark corner.
If you are able to say that the item was from a Salalah source it will give an added pointer to where we should be looking?
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.