Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Thanks Stu, what I meant in suggesting the 'calyx' type fixture or device in motif on Central Asian edged weapons' backstraps was the basic gestalt in its stylized botanical context......not that here it was part of the backstrap.
Sorry for not being more clear.
Ibrahiim, on these almost munitions grade examples, this highly stylized and virtually vestigial representation as a fixture on the pommel of these nimchas does not seem likely to be intended as an emblem or distinguishing feature.
I do like the idea of seeking indigenous botanical association in motif though. I know that with Daghestani weapons for example, the botanical representation of vines etc are sometimes key in identifying regional work, from what I have been told.
All the best,
Salaams Jim, The leaf, spice plant or scorpion (I prefer that) shape keeps cropping up on Pommels on what I believe are Zanzibari Nimcha. Most of the Ivory and Gold example hilts have this embellishment.
Thus, I am now able to compare a number of structures on this hilt with the style above in rosewood..and occasionally possibly horn material...and which I suspect are Military weapons though as yet without proof...The avenue of approach ie the botanical slant was in reference to one of the three main reasons for the entry of these great powers into the Indian Ocean... Spices. The closest I can get to that is Nutmeg but it could be something else as you say... maybe scorpion....or lobster ...famous in that region..
If by showing that some of these comparisons are the same and where we know that style is Zanzibari then we move the pointer closer to a Zanzibari hilt(and scabbard). I think that is the case for 2, 4 and 7 below...and offer the others for comment and in support.
In fact~ are the pointers noted below not what defines the Zanzibar Nimcha Hilt...?
See picture of Zanzibar and Mediterranean Nimcha below.
Not withstanding the same general shape and cut of the hilts the specific pointers for comparison of both types are;
1. Dots on the spine of the short rainguard.
2. Decoration on the end/finial of the handguard.
shaped leaves on the handguard and where it exists the same X
shape on the D ring.
4. The Omani roundels on the scabbard.
5. The ferule at the base of the hilt. Silver.
6. The marks on the hilt where the handguard touches, OVO
shapes.See 52 second picture. In some examples silvered.In some examples two O
shapes though in others 3...set as a triangle. See Below .
7. The odd shape we are examining here which looks scorpion like or leaf form. Often silver, occasionally base metal. See below a brass example..
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.