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Old 18th March 2014, 03:33 AM   #1
kahnjar1
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Default Omani Matchlock

After many years of waiting to acquire one, this one came my way recently. Seems they are not that common compared with other similar Middle Eastern/Arabian muzzle loaders.....at least they don't seem to come up for sale as often.
Called Abu Fitilia "The Father of the Match", this one is complete and in good working order, but shows signs of many years of service to its original owner. No facility for ramrod so I assume that the rammer was carried separately. Pictures in Elgood's book Arms and Armour of Arabia show these with and without fitted rammers.
Overall length is 64" (1625mm) with the barrel of 46" (1170mm). The smooth bore is approx. 15mm.
Comments welcome.
Stu
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Old 18th March 2014, 04:10 AM   #2
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Congratulations! Thank you for sharing it with us.
What are the two brass containers on the stock just ahead of the coiled match?
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Old 18th March 2014, 05:47 AM   #3
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Hi Berkley, The "containers" are designed to hold the lighted match end. The one with the holes/vents is designed to safely hold a LIGHTED match while the other with no holes is to extinguish the lighted match. A very crafty thing to keep things safe when in use.
From photos I have seen, these "containers" vary in size/shape. They are NOT permanently attached to the stock of the gun. They are held in place by the match cord wound around the stock.
Stu
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Old 18th March 2014, 12:54 PM   #4
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Very clever and functional.
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Old 18th March 2014, 06:57 PM   #5
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Very nice! I see similar ones often here... many gun collectors in Kuwait compared to swords and they have the same jambiya 'personal' feeling to them lovely items.

As for the name; Abu Fatila being translated to 'father of the match' is abit literal. A more accurate translation to this name is 'the one with the match' as 'abu' is also used to refer to a property or 'thing' about the person/object.

example: Abu khashm can be translated 'the father of the nose' which is silly but literal. Or translated as 'the one with the nose' which is accurate to the purpose of the Arab word (generally used as a comment for people with odd noses :-)
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Old 19th March 2014, 05:31 AM   #6
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Hi Lofty,
Thanks for the comments and particularly the corrected translation. Interested to know that these are often seen in Kuwait. I seem to remember that a certain dealer not far from you was expounding the extreme rarity and huge value of these things! I assume from your comments that this may not be true. Anyway I am most pleased with the one I now have.
Stu
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Old 19th March 2014, 06:04 AM   #7
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Hi Lofty,
Thanks for the comments and particularly the corrected translation. Interested to know that these are often seen in Kuwait. I seem to remember that a certain dealer not far from you was expounding the extreme rarity and huge value of these things! I assume from your comments that this may not be true. Anyway I am most pleased with the one I now have.
Stu


Salaams Khanjar1 ~ The translation is excellent indeed and I remember the same lesson I learned from A.alnakkas a long time ago..."The one with" ... but refering to the item in general... Khanjar1 these are not common items....believe me. I have been collecting for many years so I have retained a few plus I have some barrels and some quarter barrels which most likely disintegrated on firing with the wrong charge. Good ones are very very rare. You could wander the souks in Oman and maybe see a couple in the entire system.. I don't speak of price here but a PM to me will reveal to you what "CURRENTLY" museums and collectors will pay for these. I include a couple of powder horn (Talaahiq) variants one in silver the other gazelle horn which have stopped being produced though I have the pattern.( from Richardson and Dorr "Omani Herritage" ) The other interesting items are the "made up charge and bullet containers" in brass that fit in a cross body bandolier.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 19th March 2014, 07:34 AM   #8
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Thanks Ibrahiim. I am (I think) well aware of the value of these Matchlocks as a website was quoting prices up until recently.
I also own a nice silver and gold Talahiq as shown here.
Stu
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Old 20th March 2014, 05:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Thanks Ibrahiim. I am (I think) well aware of the value of these Matchlocks as a website was quoting prices up until recently.
I also own a nice silver and gold Talahiq as shown here.
Stu


Salaams kahnjar1,
It is a most interesting item...they wore them on a leather strap(as seen also by your fine example) so they could sling them round the back of the neck whilst charging through the bushes after game...I assume the powder flask "Talaahiq" contained pan ignition grade powder and the main charge-mix plus bullets were in small containers as shown in my last post.

I show the slender style gazelle horn variant and a similar Talaahiq at my previous post and here another type more commonly seen here.

The gunpowder was traditionally concocted from sulphur mined around Jebal Hafit and the Northern coast and mixed with charcoal of the Sodoms Apple shrub that grows in Oman/Arabia..

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 20th March 2014, 05:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams kahnjar1,
It is a most interesting item...they wore them on a leather strap(as seen also by your fine example) so they could sling them round the back of the neck whilst charging through the bushes after game...I assume the powder flask "Talaahiq" contained pan ignition grade powder and the main charge-mix plus bullets were in small containers as shown in my last post.

I show the slender style gazelle horn variant and a similar Talaahiq at my previous post and here another type more commonly seen here.

The gunpowder was traditionally concocted from sulphur mined around Jebal Hafit and the Northern coast and mixed with charcoal of the Sodoms Apple shrub that grows in Oman/Arabia..

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Three interesting flasks. What are they made of, and what is their origin?
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Old 20th March 2014, 06:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Three interesting flasks. What are they made of, and what is their origin?


Salaams kahnjar1 They are wooden with brass fittings..Not exactly certain of the style possibly Indian provenance but claimed to be Omani..which probably means used extensively here...though possibly traded.
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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 20th March 2014, 06:33 AM   #12
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Interesting info on the subject can be found here http://www.omanisilver.com/contents/en-us/d316.html
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Old 20th March 2014, 08:38 AM   #13
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As for their rarity, I cannot comment really! as I do see SIMILAR ones around! but I am looking at it from the eyes of someone with zero experience with those guns.

Last long one I saw was at antique shop here, it had a broken part near the trigger but otherwise was in excellent condition... but is it abu fatila? I am not sure as I do not collect these. Will snap photos of the collections I know of though :-)
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Old 21st March 2014, 05:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eftihis
Interesting info on the subject can be found here http://www.omanisilver.com/contents/en-us/d316.html



Salaams eftihis~ Well spotted on the nice reference! That is a great site for most Omani antiquities.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 21st March 2014, 06:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.alnakkas
As for their rarity, I cannot comment really! as I do see SIMILAR ones around! but I am looking at it from the eyes of someone with zero experience with those guns.

Last long one I saw was at antique shop here, it had a broken part near the trigger but otherwise was in excellent condition... but is it abu fatila? I am not sure as I do not collect these. Will snap photos of the collections I know of though :-)


Hi Lofty,

The shape of the stock is one of the telling things about Omani Matchlocks. There is a SIMILAR matchlock attributed to Yemen, but the stock shape is different. I suspect that one who is not "into" these things, would perhaps not readily identify the difference. Bit like me who knows nothing about European Armour, trying to identify an old helmet!!
IF you can get pics of the one you have seen, that would be great.
Also with reference to the link kindly supplied by Eftihis, I note that the term "Father of the Match" once more appears in relation to the Omani Matchlock.

Stu
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Old 22nd March 2014, 04:52 AM   #16
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Salaams All.. The terminology in Oman is interesting for these long guns.. There is as discussed the quite correct term of Father of the Match; Abu Futtila... Expertly pointed out by A.alnakkas who also draws the other Abu forms in as proof ... Also include Abu Shabak (the gigantic spider)...Father of the net meaning "The one with the net". Another is a rifle that has 5 rounds in the magazine called Abu Hamsa... The One with five. There are many more examples though the reference by Eftihis does not elaborate.

The other name for the long gun is Ruomi; This is taken from the Omani long leaf shaped spear of Rome fame...It would appear that with the non requirement of spears once guns took favour (though it was a favourite Omani weapon pre gunpowder) the name carried on...logically in an odd way giving the name of the spear to these long guns as well...Equally used in Oman as a term.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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