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Old 16th February 2013, 01:06 PM   #1
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Default The Omani Shamshiir.

Salaams All. Perhaps the most Iconic of all Omani Swords is the famous curved weapon often highly adorned in silver and gold thus only worn by high office and particularly by the Rulers of Oman and Zanzibar. Oddly it is not called a Shamshiir in Oman but either referred to as a Sayf or a Kattara. Neither names do it justice, however, it is the international collectors term that I believe correctly addresses this weapon. It is indeed a weapon being nearly always of wootz and produced by the finest swordsmiths in the world. Inevitably the grand masters in Persia or Hyderabad were involved in making these swords but it is upon the waists of Omani dignatories that we focus here... The Omani Shamshiir.

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 16th February 2013, 01:54 PM   #2
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Salaams All ~Turning to the history books in this case the Richardson and Dorr ~The Craft Herritage Project publication.
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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 16th February 2013, 03:13 PM   #3
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What is so specifically Omani in these swords? They look to me like classical Persian, with the Badawi or Indian-style pleated wire covering the langet. And a lot of bling-bling that is likely not ethnic, but status-related:-)
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Old 16th February 2013, 04:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
What is so specifically Omani in these swords? They look to me like classical Persian, with the Badawi or Indian-style pleated wire covering the langet. And a lot of bling-bling that is likely not ethnic, but status-related:-)



Salaams Ariel. Well the point is accepted except~ So far as I can see the blades are Persian/Hyderabadi and much of the Hilt. After that I can see hand tooled Omani leather and Omani silver/ gold design which you call bling-bling... but which is old Omani design...thus it is ethnic.

I think we are all aware how swords from one region overlap and play into the styles and form of another. Indeed weapon form flowed too and fro depending on which military power base was the strongest. One could also argue that the Shamshiir isn't Persian but originally from Damascus. Further that the Omani Battle Sword design was taken from The Abasiid and that the Omani Dancing Sayf was absorbed from the Red Sea and that the curved Omani Kattara is a long hilt on a European Trade Blade..Thus the Persian Shamshiir influence on this Regal sword is hardly surprising.

One thing is certain... The Omani (and in the past Zanzibari) ruling families have adopted this weapon mainly as a show of Regal authority as a supreme badge of office. As you say "status related" but certainly absorbed into the style; The Omani Shamshiir.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 16th February 2013, 04:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
What is so specifically Omani in these swords? They look to me like classical Persian, with the Badawi or Indian-style pleated wire covering the langet. And a lot of bling-bling that is likely not ethnic, but status-related:-)


The most definitive Omani features in these shamshirs is in the decoration. The floral decoration can be found at the throats of Omani khanjars. This can be seen on the chapes and lockets of the shamshirs. The leather on the scabbard is usually stitched in a distinctive Omani style seen on kattaras.

The wire wrap has a twist to it which can only be found in Omani style shamshirs.

They can be found with European blades.
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Old 17th February 2013, 12:34 AM   #6
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Can you show a close-up of the decorative motif?
Also, how does the knot differ from other ( Badawi, Hyderabadi) ones?

The bottom line, I'd like to see better pics and have a bit more explanation.
Thanks, Ibrahim and Lotfi!


And, BTW, the idea of shamshir likely came to Iran from the Arabs who, in turn, got it from the Khazars during 2 centuries of trying to break their defences and invade Europe from the east. Charles Martel and Khazars preserved Europe as we know it.
But weapons were, indeed, widely appropriated and many had only decorative elements to distinguish them from their origins.
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Old 17th February 2013, 09:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Can you show a close-up of the decorative motif?
Also, how does the knot differ from other ( Badawi, Hyderabadi) ones?

The bottom line, I'd like to see better pics and have a bit more explanation.
Thanks, Ibrahim and Lotfi!


And, BTW, the idea of shamshir likely came to Iran from the Arabs who, in turn, got it from the Khazars during 2 centuries of trying to break their defences and invade Europe from the east. Charles Martel and Khazars preserved Europe as we know it.
But weapons were, indeed, widely appropriated and many had only decorative elements to distinguish them from their origins.




Salaams Ariel ~Ya Thats what I'm doing and why I opened the thread. At #2 is about as close up as I've got which shows the Omani style in tooling on the leather and typical scroll work in the silver and gold. I'm in the Museum next month so I will continue to pour in the detail.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 17th February 2013, 11:27 AM   #8
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Namaste Ibrahiim,

Obviously the 'Shamshir' was a supremely influential weapon and certainly travelled widely.
If we just look at it's influence on European military officers swords loosely termed 'Mameluke', there are all stages of variation from actual unmodified shamshir and Kilij through imported remounted blades and of course the (majority) European swords simply made in the 'Mameluke' style (Ie; loosely emulating Shamshir).

So, when we look at your two examples they do seem to have been "lightly Omanicised". But are you saying that there are also 100% Omani made versions of these swords? (Say pre WW2?)
Because if so that would indeed be an interesting and distinct local 'version'.

I had to smile when I read "Inevitably the grand masters in Persia or Hyderabad were involved in making these swords" (The ones shown).
I found myself imagining a picture of the laundry room in the Titanic, full to the brim with Egyptian cotton sheets, towels, pillowcases and napkins and claiming that the Titanic was a Egyptian ship even though some Irish shipbuilders were inevitably involved in making her.

Teasing aside These locally dressed swords are interesting and clearly as has been pointed out would have been instantly recognisable (worldwide) as a fashionable cross-cultural status symbol which clearly survived as such in certain circles in Oman into the modern period.
You could fill a fair sized thread with pictures of all manner of the great and the good carrying Shamshir and Kilij in the 19th century.

However, from what I can see of the two above, I'd call them 'Lightly Omanicised Shamshir'

Regards
Gene

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Old 17th February 2013, 11:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
*snip*
But weapons were, indeed, widely appropriated and many had only decorative elements to distinguish them from their origins.


Just so.
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Old 17th February 2013, 06:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantia
Namaste Ibrahiim,

Obviously the 'Shamshir' was a supremely influential weapon and certainly travelled widely.
If we just look at it's influence on European military officers swords loosely termed 'Mameluke', there are all stages of variation from actual unmodified shamshir and Kilij through imported remounted blades and of course the (majority) European swords simply made in the 'Mameluke' style (Ie; loosely emulating Shamshir).

So, when we look at your two examples they do seem to have been "lightly Omanicised". But are you saying that there are also 100% Omani made versions of these swords? (Say pre WW2?)
Because if so that would indeed be an interesting and distinct local 'version'.

I had to smile when I read "Inevitably the grand masters in Persia or Hyderabad were involved in making these swords" (The ones shown).
I found myself imagining a picture of the laundry room in the Titanic, full to the brim with Egyptian cotton sheets, towels, pillowcases and napkins and claiming that the Titanic was a Egyptian ship even though some Irish shipbuilders were inevitably involved in making her.

Teasing aside These locally dressed swords are interesting and clearly as has been pointed out would have been instantly recognisable (worldwide) as a fashionable cross-cultural status symbol which clearly survived as such in certain circles in Oman into the modern period.
You could fill a fair sized thread with pictures of all manner of the great and the good carrying Shamshir and Kilij in the 19th century.

However, from what I can see of the two above, I'd call them 'Lightly Omanicised Shamshir'

Regards
Gene



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. Here I must also place the unusual knot as apparently Omani. 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".

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 17th February 2013, 07:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
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".

Regards,
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.


Regards
Gene

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Old 18th February 2013, 03:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantia
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.


Regards
Gene



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.

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Old 18th February 2013, 03:14 PM   #13
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Salaams All ~ Pictures from The Muscat Museum. I will have a better selection later. These are so rare that anything we can obtain for records is worth having.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 19th February 2013, 12:58 PM   #14
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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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Old 19th February 2013, 04:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantia
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



Salaams Atlantia I agree indeed ... I could have written exactly that ! There appear to be only a couple of these in the entire museums weapons collections in Muscat... As I say I have only seen one or two "in the wild" and they were very ropey. The finer items may well have been gifted or special commissions..

On the subject of European blades ... older ones ... remounted on Omani longhilts I've seen a lot. Trouble is they all appear to have been joined after about 1970 in Muscat Muttrah Souk for the tourist market. I showed a Solingen blade to that effect on Kattara for comments but it was stuck together only recently. http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=10455 . Please see # 228 #250 One shows ropey Shamshiirs and the other recent European remounted blades.

Anyway like a lot of other points to recheck this is high on my list for my Muscat Museum visit program in the next 3 months. Thanks for the post

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 19th February 2013, 07:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Atlantia I agree indeed ... I could have written exactly that ! There appear to be only a couple of these in the entire museums weapons collections in Muscat... As I say I have only seen one or two "in the wild" and they were very ropey. The finer items may well have been gifted or special commissions..

On the subject of European blades ... older ones ... remounted on Omani longhilts I've seen a lot. Trouble is they all appear to have been joined after about 1970 in Muscat Muttrah Souk for the tourist market. I showed a Solingen blade to that effect on Kattara for comments but it was stuck together only recently. http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=10455 . Please see # 228 #250 One shows ropey Shamshiirs and the other recent European remounted blades.

Anyway like a lot of other points to recheck this is high on my list for my Muscat Museum visit program in the next 3 months. Thanks for the post

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.



Namaste Ibrahiim


I've hunted out the original reference to the 'relic' Kattara below and found the owners description:
He says: A friend's father "pulled it out of the thatch of an old house back in the 1960's in Kildare. The sword has remained in his family since then.".

It seems fair to assume that the sword was there for some considerable time to achieve this level of decay but it's age when abandoned is of course subject to debate.
My personal view would be that it was a 19thC Kattara (of Saif as you like to call them) brought back by some Irish soldier in the early part of the 20thC.
I use it as an example simply because it's state of disrepair reveals that imho it is a trade blade of the type often seen in Kaskara etc.
I would also say that it's origins were in Europe and that the multitude of these being exported in the 18th/19thC supported various 'final products' along the trade routes from Africa into the ME.

Funnily enough I know a dealer with one of the wide fullered trade blades mounted up in original configuration as a Victorian 'Medieval broadsword'.

Anyway, you are very welcome and thanks for sharing these interesting re-dressed Shamshir. Far more my cup of tea than kattara!

Regards
Gene
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Last edited by Atlantia : 20th February 2013 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 20th February 2013, 03:31 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantia
Namaste Ibrahiim


I've hunted out the original reference to the 'relic' Kattara below and found the owners description:
He says: A friend's father "pulled it out of the thatch of an old house back in the 1960's in Kildare. The sword has remained in his family since then.".

It seems fair to assume that the sword was there for some considerable time to achieve this level of decay but it's age when abandoned is of course subject to debate.
My personal view would be that it was a 19thC Kattara (of Saif as you like to call them) brought back by some Irish soldier in the early part of the 20thC.
I use it as an example simply because it's state of disrepair reveals that imho it is a trade blade of the type often seen in Kaskara etc.
I would also say that it's origins were in Europe and that the multitude of these being exported in the 18th/19thC supported various 'final products' along the trade routes from Africa into the ME.

Funnily enough I know a dealer with one of the wide fullered trade blades mounted up in original configuration as a Victorian 'Medieval broadsword'.

Anyway, you are very welcome and thanks for sharing these interesting re-dressed Shamshir. Far more my cup of tea than kattara!

Regards
Gene



Salaams Atlantia ~ Yes well... I would hate to do the post mortem on this one ! It could be Portuguese, German, Red Sea or as you say Omani and the pommel is certainly of the latter type. I dont know what conditions it was stored in but it looks like it has had a rough time ..wet, damp conditions over 100 years can be very agressive. The hilt is extended with tang...single broad fuller. The usual method of production for Omani Sayfs was tang and blade as one piece thus this is likely to be a conversion.

The debate is on as to whether there is such a thing as a European Trade blade viz a viz Omani Sayfs.. Omani Straight dancing swords. Please feel free to join this debate on The Omani Sayf. ( The Omani Straight Dancing Sword) http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=16795

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 20th February 2013, 05:18 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Atlantia ~ Yes well... I would hate to do the post mortem on this one ! It could be Portuguese, German, Red Sea or as you say Omani and the pommel is certainly of the latter type. I dont know what conditions it was stored in but it looks like it has had a rough time ..wet, damp conditions over 100 years can be very agressive. The hilt is extended with tang...single broad fuller. The usual method of production for Omani Sayfs was tang and blade as one piece thus this is likely to be a conversion.

The debate is on as to whether there is such a thing as a European Trade blade viz a viz Omani Sayfs.. Omani Straight dancing swords. Please feel free to join this debate on The Omani Sayf. ( The Omani Straight Dancing Sword) http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=16795

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.



Sup Ibrahiim,

The relic sword is surely an example of a trade blade used in a Kattara?

I wouldn't get too caught up on the Kaskara attribution simply because that's where we see this kind of blade most commonly.
To conclude that this blade started out IN a Kaskara seems like a bit of a stretch to me.
My limited experience of de-hilted Kaskara with a European blade (one that I owned many years ago) is that it also had a short tang with a single hole which appeared to be how it had been supplied from it's source in Europe and not locally cut down.

To illustrate this I add a picture from this thread:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=8269
Showing a trade blade with a seemingly original short tang the same as the one that I previously owned and the relic example above.
I would suggest that the logical assumption was that these were being traded en-masse to whoever wanted them and that while many ended up as Kaskara, some also ended up as Mandinka swords, Takouba and Kattara.


Unless someone can say with certainty that the trade blades were supplied with conventional long tangs and ONLY shortened 'in theatre' as they were being made into Kaskara?

Regards
Gene
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Old 20th February 2013, 05:40 PM   #19
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Salaams Atlanta... Just to remind you that you are on the Omani Shamshiir thread and better perhaps to be on the Omani Sayf thread...The Straight Omani Sayf; but to continue...well it would take some science to prove thats an Omani blade but ok lets say its an Omani Straight Sayf.

I didnt mention Kaskara?

The blade you add is a trade blade and I put it to forum that no Omani Straight Sayfs originate from those..I have tentatively agreed that there mmay be some inclusion of form taken from the fullers designs but no more. They made their own or got them from somewhere else... India or Yemen possibly?

Kindly consider bringing the question onto the right thread...

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 20th February 2013, 05:45 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
(snip)
The debate is on as to whether there is such a thing as a European Trade blade viz a viz Omani Sayfs.. Omani Straight dancing swords. Please feel free to join this debate on The Omani Sayf. (snip)
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


P.S.
I've not really got anything else to add Ibrahiim
Kattara aren't really my bag (at all) and Iain is certainly the chap to talk Takouba, Kaskara and trade blades of this type as well I would imagine!
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Old 20th February 2013, 06:06 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Atlanta... Just to remind you that you are on the Omani Shamshiir thread and better perhaps to be on the Omani Sayf thread...The Straight Omani Sayf; but to continue...well it would take some science to prove thats an Omani blade but ok lets say its an Omani Straight Sayf.

I didnt mention Kaskara?

The blade you add is a trade blade and I put it to forum that no Omani Straight Sayfs originate from those..I have tentatively agreed that there mmay be some inclusion of form taken from the fullers designs but no more. They made their own or got them from somewhere else... India or Yemen possibly?

Kindly consider bringing the question onto the right thread...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.



Namaste Ibrahiim,

Yeah, I don't really want to get into the whole Kattara/Saif, flexi/stiff, dancing/combat debate.
I've got plans for the next year.... or two

With the relic blade above, I thought you suggested in the original thread that it was a reused Kaskara blade, but I have to admit that I did lose the will to live about 6 or 7 pages into that thread so I could easily be misquoting your meaning.
I'm not sure how you're explaining this blade any other way than how I suggest, but if you don't want to continue to discuss it within this 'Omanicised Shamshir' thread then no problem. I don't want to derail this thread and turn it into another debate on Kattara.

So back to Shamshir it is!

Regards
Gene
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Old 20th February 2013, 06:18 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantia
Namaste Ibrahiim,

Yeah, I don't really want to get into the whole Kattara/Saif, flexi/stiff, dancing/combat debate.
I've got plans for the next year.... or two

With the relic blade above, I thought you suggested in the original thread that it was a reused Kaskara blade, but I have to admit that I did lose the will to live about 6 or 7 pages into that thread so I could easily be misquoting your meaning.
I'm not sure how you're explaining this blade any other way than how I suggest, but if you don't want to continue to discuss it within this 'Omanicised Shamshir' thread then no problem. I don't want to derail this thread and turn it into another debate on Kattara.

So back to Shamshir it is!

Regards
Gene



Salaams Atlantia ~ I will discus anything anywhere but as you point out the Kattara for comments was a bit big... thats why I've hived off the different forms (theres only 4)of Omani swords... all very different as you know. That way you can dip into each specific type without going in through "War and Peace" and the 300 posts plus ~ which are all very meaningful and full of important detail...I have to add that because I wrote most of it. Anyway 17,000 hits aint at all bad.
No really! it would enhance that thread to have your comments on it... after all if a research student is looking at Omani Sayfs he wouldn't really find your excellent input here so why not join the debate over on Omani Sayfs ?

Here it is...http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=16795

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 20th February 2013, 06:33 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Atlantia ~ I will discus anything anywhere but as you point out the Kattara for comments was a bit big... thats why I've hived off the different forms (theres only 4)of Omani swords... all very different as you know. That way you can dip into each specific type without going in through "War and Peace" and the 300 posts plus ~ which are all very meaningful and full of important detail...I have to add that because I wrote most of it. Anyway 17,000 hits aint at all bad.
No really! it would enhance that thread to have your comments on it... after all if a research student is looking at Omani Sayfs he wouldn't really find your excellent input here so why not join the debate over on Omani Sayfs ?

Here it is...http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=16795

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


LOL! You're very kind Ibrahiim.
But I'll stick to the Shamshir
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Old 20th February 2013, 11:20 PM   #24
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Absolutely brilliant discourse you guys! I really like this...keeping a sense of humor even in conflict, and both working to keep the thread on track!!
Thank you both!
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Old 21st February 2013, 02:57 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Absolutely brilliant discourse you guys! I really like this...keeping a sense of humor even in conflict, and both working to keep the thread on track!!
Thank you both!



Salaams Jim McDougall~ No conflict with Atlantia at all... matter of fact its a great pleasure. The real work, for me, on Shamshiirs will begin once I can get into the Museums next week. I note that Whimperial Arms are showing some Shamshiir in their auctions. Once they have cleared I'm sure we can ingest the pictures into library.
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Old 21st February 2013, 07:23 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Absolutely brilliant discourse you guys! I really like this...keeping a sense of humor even in conflict, and both working to keep the thread on track!!
Thank you both!


You're a gentleman Jim

Thank you.

It's those who gently disagree with our theories who keep us all grounded... So I count myself blessed indeed that people so often disagree with mine!

I totally echo Ibrahiim's words when he says that there is no conflict between us and I enjoy debating with someone so passionate about their field of study.

I'm sure Ibrahiim knows that my gentle teasing is meant in good humour.
...As I hope does everyone else who recieves it

Best
Gene
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Old 27th December 2013, 02:36 PM   #27
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Salaams all Note to Library... More pictures..of Shamshiir...plus a little sketch of the Palace at Zanzibar.... for atmosphere...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.[QUOTE]
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Old 28th December 2013, 04:04 PM   #28
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Salaams.. Note to Library ... Logically (always a dangerous word in ethnographics).. If you move around the Indian Ocean more examples of Omani Shamshir ought to be present. The reason being that Oman owned a fair slice of territories in the 19th Century having really first started expanding militarily after deposing the Portuguese from Muscat in 1650... They quickly followed up and expelled them from Zanzibar 2 years later.

Thus I present the Comoros Shamshir..

The COMOROS Islands~
Small Islands between the Northern tip of Madagascar and mainland Africa. The Comoro Islands or Comoros (Shikomori Komori; Arabic جزر القمر Juzur al-Qamar; French Les Comores) form an archipelago of volcanic islands situated off the south-east coast of Africa, to the east of Mozambique and north-west of Madagascar. They are divided between the sovereign state of the Comoros and the French overseas department of Mayotte. The islet of Banc du Geyser and the Glorioso Islands are sometimes included as part of the archipelago.

Amongst the photos is an interesting coin which could be entitled the Ethnographic Arms Coin !! since it is awash with weapons.
The Shamshir is well documented in the pictures.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 29th December 2013, 06:09 PM   #29
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Salaams~ Note to Library. Another Shamshir. The Sword of Henry Morton Stanley (of Livingstone Fame..) was presented to Stanley by non other than Sultan Bargash of Zanzibar in his final days. I note it went under the hammer at Quisties London for a reasonable sum recently.

Below~Bargash shown in a photo and a sketch with his Shamshir and the one he gave away, presented to Stanley whose portrait is also shown.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 30th December 2013, 06:27 PM   #30
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Salaams All ~Just to focus on ...The Omani Shamshir.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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