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Old 17th February 2013, 06:51 PM   #11
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: The Sharp end
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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Atlantia .. I haven't seen a fully home grown (all made in Oman) Shamshiir and I doubt if one exists. The closest I think may be from the turn of the century in a small production unit in Al Ain close to Buraimi but that is another story. Wootz is not something normally seen in Omani produced swords/daggers though there are instances where wootz blades have appeared on long Omani hilts matched later.

I agree with the idea of Omanised weapons ... Some weapons were produced in other countries and used and adopted here. That is true about the blades of the curved Omani Kattara and of gunpowder weapons from abu Futtlia to cannon to Martini Henry and Enfields. That can even be argued about the Omani Battle Sword as I illustrate it as "copied in"... from the Abasiid... in 751 AD.

I hope that my posts do not infer that Shamshiir in Oman were made in Oman... not at all ... but owning a sword signed by one of the great sword makers of Persia (a next door trading partner and in the past waring enemies/friends on and off) added great cudos to the weapon and the person weilding it (presumably ) and in that context I think the Islamic script ... and indeed the whole blade and hilt configuration held some powerful effect in this part of the world... apart from being the height of technology "bladed weapon wise" ~ it expressed a certain level in Arabian society...Rich Man-Rich Sword..The word "Icon" springs to mind.

These were sought after by countries close to Persia and made on commission or offered as the ultimate in royal/diplomatic gifts to visiting heads of state. Oman being right on that particular doorstep was the fortunate receiver of such "Royal" weapons and has a rich history with its neighbours.

In another way if we look at good European blades and the way they swept the world particularly Africa and even today continue to be rehilted on weird and wonderful foreign hilts. I mean no-one blinks at seeing a Solingen blade on an Omani, Ethiopian, Red Sea or Indian Hilt.

The Shamshiir is very much part of the Regal Scene and may have entered Omani culture early in its appearance. If my memory serves me well the great master was taken from Damascus to Isfahan in 16thC...and worked in the Safavid court royal workshops on such "Persian" Shamshiir.(although I do not forget the Hyderabad weapons probably traded in by the famous Hyderabadi Khojas... who later became absorbed as Omanis in Muscat)

Swords with expired great masters names on them in fact continued until ... today.

The Omanised bits of the weapon appear to be decorative and include the chape and drag plus other gold and silver work on the rings furniture and throat...and Omani tooled leather to the scabbard and possibly Omani work on the carrying belt. To that end it is indeed viewable as you describe as "Lightly Omanicised" but as I noted initially my focus is not just on the sword but on the person wearing it.

Thus; "The Omani Shamshiir".

Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Salutations Ibrahiim,

Indeed many Omani Kattara have imported blades, both curved sabre type and straight 'broadsword' trade-blade type.
Ah! But all Shamshir and Kattara are Sayf, but not all Sayf are Shamshir or Kattara!
Although the "Shamshir" is a common sword type with many region specific variations I also don't remember ever seeing a Shamshir attributed to local production in Oman.
However, that said the slight Omani touches on these imported swords are still interesting and I'm sure would add a premium to Shamshir sold to Omani collectors.
I assume that you intend to have your silverworkers "Omanicise" some plain Shamshir emulating those you have shown?

These local re-dressings are interesting and it would be good to see some other historic examples of "Omanicised" Shamshir to compare the 'level' of re-dressing with the work on the two you show.

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