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Old 19th February 2013, 11:58 AM   #14
Atlantia
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Location: The Sharp end
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Atlantia; Well that was a tongue twister and I'm still trying to fathom the ins and outs of your limeric about Kattaras and Sayfs

I've never seen a straight Omani Sayf dancing sword with a European blade and I've seen thousands of these blades. (except in the case of known rehilted jobs emanating through Mutrah Souk attached workshops and done in the last few decades there. They are all locally made blades and in the case of stamps of blade inscriptions they are all either copies of stamps or locally construed stamps.

The curved Omani Kattara on the other hand come in a variety of stamps both with and without and local as well as European stamps copied and/or original.

There is also to my knowledge no such animal as a localised Omani Shamshiir that you imagine are waiting to be given the full conversion to Omani like the ones at posts above. I have seen a couple of RAK old examples but I have no knowledge on the upgrading proceedure or when it was done or by whom. They all appear to be special commissions to which your next question is ... Well who added the Omani stuff ? I have absolutely no idea... but it is on my list to find out from the museums. I suspect commissioned to order perhaps from a Muscat specialist as yet not identified but attached to the Royal Court? Omani Shamshiir are dead rare. Ive never seen one outside of a museum which is where all my Omani Shamshiir exhibits are from (or a museum related book).

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


Konnichiwa Ibrahiim,

I agree that all the modern straight Kattara probobly do have locally made blades. All the modern ones that I've seen are frankly 'only' fit for dancing with
But I've seen older ones with good double edged blades clearly of the same genre of trade blades exported en-masse from Europe, oft copied locally and seen in such varied incarnations as Kaskara, Mandinko swords, etc, etc...

Hold on, didn't I show you a short tang trade blade of the type commonly seen in Kaskara mounted up as a Kattara?

Anyway, the Shamshir.
What you seem to have above are two 'fairly standard' form Shamshir exported widely and in this incarnation re-dressed with some locally made mounts.
The form hasn't been altered a breath and if it wasn't for the close-up pictures you could easily not even notice that these have had a holiday in Oman.
I'm suprised that you're not going to source some plain or tatty shamshir and have your silverworkers redress them in Omani style?

As to 'who' added the Omani mounts to the originals?
These swords (and related types) were widely admired across half the world. Given the time you could probobly find dozens of retro-fitted and locally embellished Shamshir from as many different countries.
I would assume that these were simply imported of gifted swords given a slightly local flavour to 'Omanicise' them.

As to them being rare?
I would conjecture that many might not have been modified at all or only lightly re-dressed, so would only be distinguishable by knowledge of their actual provenance or possibly just by their scabbard?
Once removed from their direct history or parted from their Omanicised scabbard their 'connection' to Oman is lost.
Which is why the two complete examples that you show are so interesting.
There is no reason why Shamshir might not have been popular among certain wealthier "Omani" in times past and the majority might not have been modified at all.
So like many of our swords, their 'history' is lost over time.

Regards
Gene
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