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Old 7th August 2010, 05:29 PM   #1
TVV
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Default Somewhat Unusual Omani Khanjar for Comment

This khanjar has certainly seen better times, but I was attracted to it due to the rhino hilt and the unusual features. It has the general shape and proportions of a typical Omani khanjar, but the scabbard is a bit unusual. It is skinnier, the front is covered with brass sheets instead of silver I am not sure if it ever had a belt. On top of that, it has a faded piece of velvet in the middle, not unlike some Indo-Arab khanjars from Kutch, and there are sockets holding turquoise imitations. I am attaching a picture next to a more typical Omani example for comparison.

Oman historically had possessions in Balochistan, such as Gwadar, which was sold to Pakistan in the late 1950s. Could this dagger, showing mixed Omani and Central Asian influences be from there?

Thank you for your comments,
Teodor
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Old 7th August 2010, 09:14 PM   #2
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Pleased this went to another Forum Member. Pics on auction were not the best so I didn't risk pushing it. Assume you plan some restoration?
As to its origins, the velvet piece does perhaps suggest Indian origin as does the brass (silvered??) scabbard metal. Also to me the hilt "buttons" seem rather low quality for an Omani Khanjar.
Those turquoises COULD be the real thing. I have seen a Saudi piece with these as decoration.
Regards Stu
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Old 8th August 2010, 02:33 AM   #3
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Thank you for responding Stu,

There are conflicting views on restoration. Mine is, to do what is needed to prevent further deterioration and then leave all original materials and components intact. I am open to replacing missing parts, such as the missing button, as long as I know what it originally looked like. Still, even such small additions will constitute tampering with an artifact and changing it from its authentic state, so I am not sure if I will do anything at all for now.

The scabbard metal is brass, and it is not silvered - I am a poor photographer. The "turquoises" to me look like plastic or pieces of tile, or some other material, but they do not look like actual stones. Perhaps someone wanted turquoises for all the talismanic properties attributed to this type of stone, but could not afford it or simply did not have them available.

Do you recognize the scabbard decoration from somewhere? There seems to be a wave motif, which looks familiar, but I cannot tell from where right now.

Regards,
Teodor
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Old 8th August 2010, 03:15 AM   #4
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Hi Teodor,
It would seem that your thoughts on restoration are much like mine. Repair/replace what is missing/broken and remove any rust or corrosion to prevent further deterioration. I have seen old pieces ruined by over restoring. These pieces afterall are relics of a bygone era and should (in my opinion) reflect that.
Nothing wrong with your pics and they are certainly MUCH better than those of the original listing!
That wave pattern is also familiar to me but I can't place it either. It does not appear to be Omani though. None of my Omani Khanjar have this pattern, nor do any of them have brass scabbards.
I vote for Indian origin.
Regards Stu
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Old 8th August 2010, 10:23 AM   #5
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I'm glad you like it, and sorry- I did what I could for pictures. Figured someone on here would probably get it, and glad to see I was right. I personally picked it out of an estate auction I was hoping to pull a Winchester 1873 frame from, but after five hours of waiting, ended up with only aching feet and the khanjar.

I've seen some marvelous restorations done here, and at the very least I expect better conservation than what I could provide, so I got my satisfaction from the piece simply being a conduit. After eBay fees, I think I made $9, not counting gasoline spent.
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Old 8th August 2010, 01:52 PM   #6
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Wasn't it in Elgood's book that Bukharan masters worked around Arabia ( mostly in the vicinity of Persian Gulf ? ) and some weapons reflect their influence?
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