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Old 16th February 2013, 02:47 PM   #31
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Old 28th February 2013, 05:26 PM   #32
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Default Richardson and Dorr

Salam,

Wow! I have a battle sword and i have the books by Richardson and Dorr....and I never saw the battle sword hiding in that image.....well spotted!!
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Old 1st March 2013, 02:48 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Al Shamal
Salam,

Wow! I have a battle sword and i have the books by Richardson and Dorr....and I never saw the battle sword hiding in that image.....well spotted!!



Salaams Al Shamal ~ They now produce an Arabic Version !

On the subject of Old Omani Battle Swords ~ apparently the Muscat Museums have a few of them and theres one in the Al Ain Museum which has a little silver on it in particular a silver floral button in each quillon hole. ( the tag just says "Arabian Sword" ). Theres another in the Tareq Rajab Museum in Quwait placed by me in about ''95. The largest collections are held in the UAE in private hands and each numbers about 20 or 30. I try to get pictures... no avail so far. Out there in the market there are none that I know of. They are truly rare. The museum teams are searching to upgrade in all the major countries around here with new Museums going up in Al Ain, Saudia, Qatar and the Gugenheim and Louvre projects in the UAE etc.

Anyone able to drop in on the Tareq Rajab Museum in Quwait will be astonished at the brilliant collection ... Picture below shows another of their Omani Battle Swords silvered up Royal Icon style to the right of an Omani Dancing sword.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 20th June 2013, 05:35 PM   #34
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Default The Old Omani Battle Sword.

Salaams all~ Note to Library;

The Old Omani Battle Sword ~ Sayf Yamaani ~ This one with some new work on the hilt using silver stitches and leather. Light wonky but will try to get a better shot later...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 08:58 AM   #35
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Default Sayf Yamaani.

Salaams all ~ Better Shot Later ~

What is quite interesting is that this sword came from Rostaq and belonged to a member of the Yaruba dynasty who essentially were the power who ejected the Portuguese in 1650 from Oman. They would probably have used swords like this to do the job... The Old Omani Battle Sword in place for 1261 years since 751 AD is the only true Omani Battle Sword and based on the Abbasiid weapon viewable at the Topkapi both compared by us at...#1. of this thread.

I have checked the hilt which is octagonal and has the original two rivet holes and the third for a wrist strap. The blade is stiff, razor sharp and round tipped with wear at the sweet spot..

The sword was discovered whilst an old house in Rostaq was being demolished. The work on the leathered hilt was completed by an old silversmith in the past 3 months at Rostaq.

The sword has the feeling of excalibur in an odd sort of way... I mean you pick it up and you're off to do battle immediately...Its a dragon slayer !!

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Notes; From Wikipedia.com

Quote" Country; Oman.

Region;
Al Batinah Region.

Rustaq (Arabic: الرستاق‎) is a town and wilayah (district) in the Al Batinah Region of northern Oman. The city is located at 23°23′27″N 57°25′28″E23.39083°N 57.42444°E.
The wilayah of Rustaq is in the Western Hajar, in the south of the Batinah. Rustaq was once the capital of Oman, during the era of Imam Nasir bin Murshid al Ya'arubi. Rustaq fort, built four centuries prior to the dawn of Islam in Oman, is an imposing structure built on three levels, containing separate houses, an armoury, a mosque and four towers. The tallest tower stands over 18.5m high and has a diameter of 6m. Hazm Fort is an outstanding example of Omani Islamic architecture and was built in 1711 AD. The fort's roof is built on columns, and contains no wooden supports. Its walls can withstand great impact, at no less than 3m thick at any point.
Rustaq is an area of healing warm springs, the most notable being Ain al Kasafa. Its waters runs at 45°C and are regarded as a cure for rheumatism and skin diseases due to its sulphur content.

There are three popular wadis to visit: Wadi Bani Ghafar; Wadi al Sahtan and Wadi Bani Auf. In addition, the mountains are pitted with caves such as Al Sanaqha Cave with its own subterranean springs. One of the main occupations in Rustaq is beekeeping. Pure Omani honey is a most sought-after commodity and is of the highest quality. Fruits such as pomegranates, apricots, plums and grapes are grown on the foothills of the Akhdar Mountains and brought to Rustaq for sale.

The name of this town is a derived from the Middle Iranian, rustag, (Baluchi, Persian, Kumzari, etc.), New Iranian, 'rusta', meaning a 'large village.' The term is a cognate to other Indo-European tongues such as Latin, where 'rustica', means the same thing (whence the source for the English term, 'rustic' meaning old country style... or original old form...).
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Old 6th July 2013, 08:51 AM   #36
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Default Battle Sword/Dancing Sword !!

Salaams all.. Should I discover something to the contrary I will be the first to report it !!

What appears to be a rather grainy picture ... it was e mailed to me ... but I shall attempt to get a better picture in due course.. in the top picture a dancing sword.. and lower a dancing sword with a fighting blade... The first I have ever encountered. Interestingly the enclave is near Rostaq ~ and the question in my mind was always why didnt some Old Omani Battle Swords get converted to dancing swords despite their total inability to vibrate in the flicked wrist as do dancing blades? The answer is here... they did ! or at least one did. According to the owner this is a stiff heavy blade whereas the top sword is flexible.

Here we have an Old Sayf Yamaani, The Old Omani Battle Sword dressed like a dancing Sayf.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 6th July 2013, 09:50 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams all.. Should I discover something to the contrary I will be the first to report it !!

What appears to be a rather grainy picture ... it was e mailed to me ... but I shall attempt to get a better picture in due course.. in the top picture a dancing sword.. and lower a dancing sword with a fighting blade... The first I have ever encountered. Interestingly the enclave is near Rostaq ~ and the question in my mind was always why didnt some Old Omani Battle Swords get converted to dancing swords despite their total inability to vibrate in the flicked wrist as do dancing blades? The answer is here... they did ! or at least one did. According to the owner this is a stiff heavy blade whereas the top sword is flexible.

Here we have an Old Sayf Yamaani, The Old Omani Battle Sword dressed like a dancing Sayf.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


This isn't the first instance of these style mounts being found on solid fighting blades, over the last couple years on the various topics regarding these, I've pointed out plenty (trade blades, not the wider blade type seen here).

Your response at the time has been that these are then modern combinations for the tourist market because they'd be of no use within this style of mounts - but that's always seemed unlikely to some of us and this seems to validate the latter point of view.
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Old 6th July 2013, 05:11 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain
This isn't the first instance of these style mounts being found on solid fighting blades, over the last couple years on the various topics regarding these, I've pointed out plenty (trade blades, not the wider blade type seen here).

Your response at the time has been that these are then modern combinations for the tourist market because they'd be of no use within this style of mounts - but that's always seemed unlikely to some of us and this seems to validate the latter point of view.



Salaams Iain ~ This is the first instance of a solidly stiff blade ..a fighting old Omani Battle Sword blade mounted on a dancing long hilt. In all the other instances of Sayfs (straight dancing swords)the blades have been flexible dancers or in the case of a few odd, what appear to be Red Sea variants, with stiff blades. None have the provenance European save a couple known to have been remounted in Muscat.

I reitterate that I have not handled the weapon yet but it belongs with a friend in Rostaq so I will no doubt get hold of the item soon enough. His description over the phone was that this one does not flex at all... and he realises it is a remount...

This is a completely one-off remount of an Old Omani Battle Sword blade and the only one I have ever seen. I show it as a curiousity rather than some break through in Omani Sword definition which it most certainly is not.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 6th August 2013, 11:22 AM   #39
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Default Blockbuster !! Sayf Yamaani.

Salaams All ~The Omani Battle Sword. Amazing blade marks ... Please be advised that an amazing blade (pictures) are currently with me and the owner has very kindly allowed me to publish. Which I will do as soon as I can figure out how !
Note that the quillons are broken off ... This weapon has a scabbard whos picture may follow soon.. The weapon was purchased (Mutrah) thence went to Australia 30 or more years ago. I seem to see inlay metal in the tail of the animal however I shall report back after speaking with the owner. (Latten inlay ?)

The areas of concern are:
1. What is the animal configuration Dog(Perillo Spain), Wolf(Passau German) or Lion (Arabian)?
2. What is the apparent armoury roundel stamp Arabian (Mamluke?) or European ?
3. What is the significance of the apparent Star Of David ?
4. What is the other stamp?
5. Is this a refitted blade or original?
6. Are these original blade marks or copied on... locally?

Ah ...pictures ... got it ! Here goes....

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 11th August 2013, 03:35 PM   #40
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Salaams all Note to Forum. Added detail to above post ; The purchase date is nearer 1990. There is no latten inlay in any of the stamps. The star form (Islamic) is the Star of Solomon form. The Hilt; although the Quillons are missing is an Omani Battle Sword Classic... what may be questionable is the blade. I am trying to determine its flexibility. Is it a refitted dancing blade?

The scabbard details underline the Omani Battle Sword status being of the right nature and format. What is quite amazing(to me) is the style and size...about two inches square... the Lion/Wolf... I favour Lion since its tail is of that style and it has huge claws.

What is also interesting is the roundel since we know that full moons are not Islamic (it is the other moons that attract such meaning) but what is significant about roundels is their attachment to Mamluk style as the mark of ownership..by a man of the pen (as opposed to a man of the sword). The round face ... its eyes are inkwells depicting a penbox. The lips of the face are perhaps the two separate legs of pantaloons... often illustrated thus on Mamluk insignia. More on that later.

I have noted that silver wire is hammered into the Pommel as in some other hilts of Omani Battle Swords. The octagonal hilt is very visible as are the three hilt holes; the top hole being for the wrist strap. The second pin is a later addition as they are flat headed rivvets rather than pin headed. The hand tooling to the scabbard is typical for this mark.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Old 13th August 2013, 06:06 AM   #41
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Salaams all ~ A full flex test has been carried out and the sword is declared stiff ... thus it is not a dancing sword blade refit ... but in fact a real Omani Battle Sword..

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 13th August 2013, 10:21 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams all ~ A full flex test has been carried out and the sword is declared stiff ... thus it is not a dancing sword blade refit ... but in fact a real Omani Battle Sword..

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.



If this was purchased in 1990 why aren't you ascribing the same attribution of recent merger of parts as you've done with many blades of a similar nature fitted to the newer style hilt.
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Old 14th August 2013, 06:48 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain
If this was purchased in 1990 why aren't you ascribing the same attribution of recent merger of parts as you've done with many blades of a similar nature fitted to the newer style hilt.



Salaams Iain, Because I have looked long and hard at the components i.e. The Blade, The Hilt and the Scabbard and have decided that they are all correct for this style. Obviously the hilt needs little further discussion even though the quillons are broken off...The Scabbard is correct .... That leaves the blade.

There aren't any European marks on it like Solingen or other strikes and the 3 markings appear to be Islamic. The Lion, the circular stamp and the Star of Solomon being either makers, owners or locally applied. Even if the animal stamp/ engraving is after a European mark (perhaps the Passau wolf) it is clearly applied in Arabia.

Purchase date has nothing to do with age and so far as I can see this has little comparison to the dancing blade conundrum nor refits of that blade to other hilts...The entire business of dancing swords and hilt switching is almost totally unrelated to the Old Omani Battle Sword but naturally coming from Muttrah Souk it got my full attention from the fake/blade and hilt switchover angle. Quite literally in or up to about 1990 few people considered the older weapon and they could be got for almost nothing. It is only in the last few years that people have realised their worth even though their provenance has been wrongly attributed down the ages as 16th, 10th, Portuguese and recently of the Saladin type. At Forum I believe we have placed this weapon correctly from the first Imam of Oman period of 751 a.d. and unchanged until today.


I have had a bend test conducted by a very savvy technically excellent individual (I am in possession of the bend test diagrams) and am satisfied it is stiff in all respects.. even though it has 3 short fullers (some have fullers some don't) it is in my view an Omani Battle Blade and since I have probably handled more of these than any other person thus I think I have a good idea of what is and what is not correct for type; Its the real deal.

The only other blade of note that I know of cross fitted to an Old Omani Battle Hilt is the Solingen example clearly stamped SOLINGEN crossed with an Old Omani Battle Sword hilt in Muttrah by a known hilt switch workshop a few years ago.. but that is well recorded here by me on Forum and I even know the current owner. There is a blade at #36 which is peculiar in that it seems to be a battle blade on a dancing hilt and though interesting it is still under revue though as soon as I can get to Rostaq I will attempt to solve that mystery..

Regarding the sword here; I know the store from which this weapon came and although it closed some years ago I have photographs of it and the store owners owners who were well known. They had no reputation as hilt switchers. The owners of this weapon are also known to me.

Please advise if you think I am missing something here as amongst the Forums most esteemed members there are few with the expertise such as yours in this field and your knowledge is much admired.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 14th August 2013, 07:44 AM   #44
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I had previously submitted a very stiff fighting blade in what you describe as dancing sword dress but it was dismissed...
I have handled others too....

Are you now suggesting there is a known type because you have handled one....

Gavin
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Old 14th August 2013, 10:13 AM   #45
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I have no idea to which thread or post you refer but if you would like to quote the specific post I will answer your question and if required I will point to the reasons.

I cannot understand your second point for surely you know from handling scores of weapons exactly what the characteristic feeling is of a correct form for a certain mark. I have handled many Omani Battle Swords ... probably 50 by now including the museum exhibits in the UAE and Omani National Museums. I have personally been involved in putting together a collection of more than 20 such weapons for a private collector over the past 2 decades. One of my Omani Battle Swords is in the Tareq Rajeb Museum in Quwait. I still own a handful of them and am currently appraising one from Rostaq and another with a friend from a Pacific Island !

What part of familiarity and experience am I further supposed to exhibit? I have virtually rewritten this weapons history ... and placed its pedigree correctly as 751 ad but if there is something I have missed do feel free to comment with references and I will gladly look into it.

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 14th August 2013, 03:41 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Iain, Because I have looked long and hard at the components i.e. The Blade, The Hilt and the Scabbard and have decided that they are all correct for this style. Obviously the hilt needs little further discussion even though the quillons are broken off...The Scabbard is correct .... That leaves the blade.

There aren't any European marks on it like Solingen or other strikes and the 3 markings appear to be Islamic. The Lion, the circular stamp and the Star of Solomon being either makers, owners or locally applied. Even if the animal stamp/ engraving is after a European mark (perhaps the Passau wolf) it is clearly applied in Arabia.


I don't have the blade in hand so I'll refrain from comments regarding the origin of the blade. Suffice to say I'd consider it a wolf and of a style I've seen before.

Quote:
Purchase date has nothing to do with age and so far as I can see this has little comparison to the dancing blade conundrum nor refits of that blade to other hilts...The entire business of dancing swords and hilt switching is almost totally unrelated to the Old Omani Battle Sword but naturally coming from Muttrah Souk it got my full attention from the fake/blade and hilt switchover angle. Quite literally in 1990 few people considered the older weapon and they could be got for almost nothing..

It is only in the last few years that people have realised their worth even though their provenance has been wrongly attributed down the ages as 16th, 10th, Portuguese and recently of the Saladin type. At Forum I believe we have placed this weapon correctly from the first Imam of Oman period of 751 a.d. and unchanged until today.


As I've mentioned in the past, the attributions to the 16th century, typically in an auction house setting relate to the specific item up for sale and are, on a piece by piece basis quite potentially correct.

I've also mentioned I think you use the 751 date a bit too often - unless you are seriously suggesting this particular example dates to that period. Otherwise let's not go back down the rabbit hole regarding the dating of the form.


Quote:
The only other blade of note that I know of cross fitted to an Old Omani Battle Hilt is the Solingen example clearly stamped SOLINGEN crossed with an Old Omani Battle Sword hilt in Muttrah by a known hilt switch workshop a few years ago.. but that is well recorded here by me on Forum and I even know the current owner. There is a blade at #36 which is peculiar in that it seems to be a battle blade on a dancing hilt and though interesting it is still under revue though as soon as I can get to Rostaq I will attempt to solve that mystery..

Regarding the sword here; I know the store from which this weapon came and although it closed some years ago I have photographs of it and its owners who were well known. They had no reputation as hilt switchers. The owners of this weapon are also known to me.

Please advise if you think I am missing something here as amongst the Forums most esteemed members there are few with the expertise such as yours in this field and your knowledge is much admired.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


It's always good when you know some of the background on a piece although unfortunately that doesn't preclude the parts having been assembled at a later date than the origin of either the hilt or the blade. Still, if a physical inspection of the piece has left you confident of the parts that's a good thing. As I mentioned above, I haven't had it in hand and thus won't comment on that aspect.

I'll bow out for the time being of the thread, I'd say a hunt around regarding the blade marks (particularly the wolf) will give you a pretty good idea of the age of this piece and I wish you all the best in tracking them down. the variety present on this blade is interesting and some may have been applied at differing times.

Cheers,
Iain
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Old 14th August 2013, 04:53 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain
I don't have the blade in hand so I'll refrain from comments regarding the origin of the blade. Suffice to say I'd consider it a wolf and of a style I've seen before.



As I've mentioned in the past, the attributions to the 16th century, typically in an auction house setting relate to the specific item up for sale and are, on a piece by piece basis quite potentially correct.

I've also mentioned I think you use the 751 date a bit too often - unless you are seriously suggesting this particular example dates to that period. Otherwise let's not go back down the rabbit hole regarding the dating of the form.




It's always good when you know some of the background on a piece although unfortunately that doesn't preclude the parts having been assembled at a later date than the origin of either the hilt or the blade. Still, if a physical inspection of the piece has left you confident of the parts that's a good thing. As I mentioned above, I haven't had it in hand and thus won't comment on that aspect.

I'll bow out for the time being of the thread, I'd say a hunt around regarding the blade marks (particularly the wolf) will give you a pretty good idea of the age of this piece and I wish you all the best in tracking them down. the variety present on this blade is interesting and some may have been applied at differing times.

Cheers,
Iain




Salaams Iain ~ It is interesting that you have seen the animal style before and was one of the primary reasons I posted it... to see if anyone recognised this design...If you say you recognise this as a wolf.. then wolf it is.

Regarding design timeline ... I have seen the 16th C paperwork promulgated by various auction houses on swords of this type .. It never made any sense to me, therefor, I started researching and formatted a comparison with the Abbasiid as a baseline using the Topkapi sword. I have made a fair case to point the history at the first Imam period in Oman .. The probable birthdate ...at 751 ad. That is the design date but by no means the birthdate of all Omani Battle Swords.. The birthdate is a sliding scale between then and now.... or more likely then and a point in the 18th/19th Century. Swords were produced along this date line and like many other weapons in the region because they worked and were respected ... they froze in design.

Personally (though I cannot prove it) I think it is equivalent to an Heraldic/ Religio Symbolic Weapon and in itself quite unique. It is, I believe, the Ibaathi Sword. In a similar way the dancing sword is The Busaidi Sword. One marks a religious form... the other an entire dynasty.

There are still areas to explore not least an explanation as to where it was produced and the relevance to its nickname Sayf Yemaani (Hadramaut or perhaps the enclave in Izki near Nizwa called Yemen?)

The latest craze in Muscat is to suggest that this weapon is of Saladin provenance which is laughable and without proof.

Finally and again...thanks for the heads-up on the Wolf mark.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 14th August 2013, 07:11 PM   #48
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Hi Ibrahiim,

While I am well aware of your ideas regarding the source of the sword design, I think quoting the 751 date continuously does more harm than good. It gives the impression you are attributing these swords to that period. There is sadly, not a single provenanced example dating to that period among these weapons. While it may have roots in that period, it is a large leap to conclude it did not change at all during the centuries. I think it is quite possible some elements of the design due date back that far, but on the evidence available, i.e. not archaeological. It's difficult to extrapolate that much further.

I'd be interested as to what dating you would place on some of the examples you've shown. By that I mean the overall piece not just the blades which can perhaps be a older than the hilts in some cases.

All the best,
Iain
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Old 15th August 2013, 06:20 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain
Hi Ibrahiim,

While I am well aware of your ideas regarding the source of the sword design, I think quoting the 751 date continuously does more harm than good. It gives the impression you are attributing these swords to that period. There is sadly, not a single provenanced example dating to that period among these weapons. While it may have roots in that period, it is a large leap to conclude it did not change at all during the centuries. I think it is quite possible some elements of the design due date back that far, but on the evidence available, i.e. not archaeological. It's difficult to extrapolate that much further.

I'd be interested as to what dating you would place on some of the examples you've shown. By that I mean the overall piece not just the blades which can perhaps be a older than the hilts in some cases.

All the best,
Iain


Salaams Iain, The design date of 751 AD marks just that... Note that there is not a single sword from the period Abbasiid save the few examples in the Topkapi and of the Umayyad dynasty prior to that ?... there are none at all. At no point have I suggested swords are present from that period but what I do say is the design did not change.

What may be an indicator on age is the appearance of blade inscriptions and stamps and perhaps the fullers which may not have been on the very early blades. Dots on the blade may be an earlier indicator. General wear is an indicator ... however none of these is very accurate. Some later editions have tubular grip whereas the proper grip is octagonal taken from the Abbasiid style etc etc. Generally because few Ethnographic Arms anywhere exist from much before 1600.. except rusted bits or remnants we tend to look at the brackets 1550 to 1850 or thereabouts. Thus existing Omani Battle Swords probably occur in that timeframe though of course with a design pedigree stretching back much further.

To show another example of design freeze simply look at three other examples of this (quote is backed up by the late Anthony North in his book Islamic Arms and Armour)... observe the freeze in the Abu Futtila, The Khanjar and since its inception in 1744 the Omani Dancing Sword. In Arabia unlike other parts of the world ... once a weapon was accepted, essentially, it did not change in design.

I conclude that the Old Omani Battle Sword was developed from the Abbasid see #1 for my comparison and that it is a Heraldic / Religious design .. The Omani Ibaathi Sword with the birthdate 751 AD and thenceforth essentially unchanged. It would of course be nice if someone were to dig up a grave with an original in it...but except for one known later example from a tomb in Jebel Akhdar there are none ... perhaps because the tradition of burying such artefacts with the dead was not the style here... in fact it was forbidden.

This is the Omani Ibaathi insignia weapon and was used in the "Funoon" before being superceded in 1744 by the Omani dancing sword to celebrate the pageant and for the Busaidi Dynasty. The Funoon goes back to the beginning of the Omani Ibaathi period marked by the selection of the first Imam Ibn Julanda in...wait for it...751 AD. The weapon didn't appear later out of fresh air... it had a purpose ... it was Heraldic. Everything about it is Islamic but more so the hilt which is nowhere else to be found in the Islamic world... why? Because it is Omani Ibaathi ... totally unique... and the major reason for its DESIGN FREEZE... and of course as the Old Omani Battle Sword.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

I ATTACH A NOTE; VERY BRIEF ON IMPORTANT DATES OF EARLY OCCUPATION OF OMAN.

After its conversion to Islam, Oman was ruled by Umayyads between 661–750, Abbasids between 750–931, 932–933 and 934–967, Qarmatians between 931–932 and 933–934, Buyids between 967–1053, and the Seljuks of Kirman between 1053–1154.

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Old 15th August 2013, 01:37 PM   #50
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Hi Ibrahiim,

Without going into too much depth because this is mainly about how you are presenting your theory: I think your case could be stated more simply and perhaps with less potential for confusion.

This type of Omani sword has dated examples from as early as the ___ century. (I'm not sure what the earliest example with provenance is, perhaps the grave find you mentioned). Stylistically it likely takes influence from Abbasid designs, which were introduced into the region in the mid 8th century. The form closely resembles these early period swords and seems to have changed little from them. It has a tradition as a heraldic symbol within the Omani Ibaathi tradition which may account for the longevity of the form in Omani culture. Most extant examples likely date from the 17th to early 19th centuries.

I think in the absence of hard evidence, e.g. archaeology, dated examples etc. it's important to leave things just a little open ended. After all, it's impossible to be sure, although you've constructed a sound theory to explain this particular form.

Just intended as constructive comments and I hope you'll take them that way.
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Old 16th August 2013, 07:03 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain
Hi Ibrahiim,

Without going into too much depth because this is mainly about how you are presenting your theory: I think your case could be stated more simply and perhaps with less potential for confusion.

This type of Omani sword has dated examples from as early as the ___ century. (I'm not sure what the earliest example with provenance is, perhaps the grave find you mentioned). Stylistically it likely takes influence from Abbasid designs, which were introduced into the region in the mid 8th century. The form closely resembles these early period swords and seems to have changed little from them. It has a tradition as a heraldic symbol within the Omani Ibaathi tradition which may account for the longevity of the form in Omani culture. Most extant examples likely date from the 17th to early 19th centuries.

I think in the absence of hard evidence, e.g. archaeology, dated examples etc. it's important to leave things just a little open ended. After all, it's impossible to be sure, although you've constructed a sound theory to explain this particular form.

Just intended as constructive comments and I hope you'll take them that way.



Salaams ~ Im sure you are right. However, the discussion developed and developed and as each bit of the puzzle lined itself up a lot of the previous guesswork on dates seemed to disintegrate. What was a game changer was the Funoon... The Pageants... and further the fact that between Ibaathi Islam kicking in... and the end of Omans occupation by foreign powers it seemed we needed logic to deduce where in the phases of occupation did this weapon slide in? So here are the occupiers and a logical conclusion;

Umayyads between 661–750,
Abbasids between 750–931, 932–933 and 934–967,
Qarmatians between 931–932 and 933–934,
Buyids between 967–1053,
Seljuks of Kirman between 1053–1154.
Portugal about 1490... to 1650

The weapon is clearly Islamic in design (see #1 for its detailed comparison with the Abbasid at Topkapi) The finger, thus, points at that period..mid 8th C.

There is absolutely no way that it could be anything other than Ibaathi...in the same way that it couldn't be Portuguese..They hated each other. In fact I stress that it must have been used against the Abbasiids (actually garrisoned in Buraimi where I live..) because Oman had accepted The Ibaathi style and the Abbassiid were trying to batter it out of them! They hated each other also !

It seems that the date of the first Immam is key since the tie up to the Abbasid sword matches that time period and coupled with the Funoon it looks more likely. If I am right about the Heraldic/Religious nature of the sword then surely the date of the inception .. and the first Imam are underlined.

However, as you say we just dont know for sure. What we can do is continue peeling back the layers of uncertainty and hopefully one day someone will dig one up from the Mid 8thC.

I realise it is a quantum leap for people to see this sword across so many centuries and unchanged from the original mid 8thC design but that is my hypothesis.



Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 19th August 2013, 08:38 AM   #52
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Salaams~So that members who have not been previously sent to sleep by my long missives at Kattara for Comment (Actually an excellent resource and well worth the effort to read up) I include from there my potted history of Oman so that all windows of possibility related to external influence on the Omani Battle Sword design can be explored. (I've done it but I may have missed something therefor please feel free to double check) Here it is...with some pointers added by me. Where these refer to important dates on swords etc I have underlined, bracketed and added red colour.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote. "In 751AD Ibadi Muslims, a moderate branch of the Kharijites, established an imamate in Oman. Despite interruptions, the Ibadi imamate survived until the mid-20th century. (It is this point in time that my hypothesis places the origin for the design of the Old Omani Battle Sword.)But Oman was nonetheless conquered by several foreign powers, having been controlled by the Qarmatians between 931–932 and then again between 933–934.Between 967 and 1053, Oman was part of the domain of the Iranian Buyyids, and between 1053 and 1154, Oman was part of the Great Seljuk empire.

In 1154, the indigenous Nabhani dynasty took control of Oman, and the Nabhani kings ruled Oman until 1470, with an interruption of 37 years between 1406 and 1444.

Muscat was taken by the Portuguese on 1 April 1515, and was held until 26 January 1650, although the Ottomans controlled Muscat between 1550–1551 and 1581–1588. In about the year 1600, Nabhani rule was temporarily restored to Oman, although that lasted only to 1624, when fifth imamate, which is also known as the Yarubid Imamate ensued.. The latter recaptured Muscat from the Portuguese in 1650 after a colonial presence on the northeastern coast of Oman dating to 1508. The Yarubid dynasty expanded, acquiring former Portuguese colonies in East Africa and engaging in the slave trade. By 1719 dynastic succession led to the nomination of Saif ibn Sultan II. His candidacy prompted a rivalry among the ulama and a civil war between the two major tribes, the Hinawi and the Ghafiri, with the Ghafiri supporting Saif ibn Sultan II. He assumed power in 1748 after the leaders of both factions had been killed in battle, but the rivalry continued, with the factionalization working in favor of the Iranians, who occupied Muscat and Sohar in 1743.

The Iranians had occupied the coast before—indeed the coast was often the possession of various empires. These empires brought order to the religious and ethnic diversity of the population of this cosmopolitan region. Yet the intervention on behalf of an unpopular dynasty brought about a revolt. The leader of the revolt, Ahmad ibn Said al Said, was elected sultan of Muscat upon the expulsion of the Persians. The position of Sultan of Muscat would remain in the possession of the Al Said clan even when the imamate of Oman remained out of reach.

The Al Said clan became a royal dynasty when Ahmad ibn Said Al Said was elected imam following the expulsion of the Iranians from Muscat in 1744. (At this point the flexible Omani Dancing Sword appeared designed specifically for pageant and march past and review of/by tribal infantry before the Ruler.)Like its predecessors, Al Said dynastic rule has been characterized by a history of internecine family struggle, fratricide, and usurpation. Apart from threats within the ruling family, there was the omnipresent challenge from the independent tribes of the interior who rejected the authority of the sultan, recognizing the imam as the sole legitimate leader and pressing, by resort to arms, for the restoration of the imamate.

Schisms within the ruling family were apparent before Ahmad ibn Said's death in 1783 and were later manifest with the division of the family into two main lines, the Sultan ibn Ahmad Al Said (r. 1792–1806) line controlling the maritime state, with nominal control over the entire country; and the Qais branch, with authority over the Al Batinah and Ar Rustaq areas. During the period of Sultan Said ibn Sultan Al Said's rule (1806–1856), Oman cultivated its East African colonies, profiting from the slave trade. As a regional commercial power in the 19th century, Oman held territories on the island of Zanzibar off the coast of East Africa, the area along the coast of East Africa known as Zanj including Mombasa and Dar es Salaam, and until 1958 in Gwadar (in present-day Pakistan) on the coast of the Arabian Sea. But when the British declared slavery illegal in the mid-19th century, the sultanate's fortunes reversed. The economy collapsed, and many Omani families migrated to Zanzibar. The population of Muscat fell from 55,000 to 8,000 between the 1850s and 1870s. Most of the overseas possessions were seized by the United Kingdom and by 1850 Oman was an isolated and poor area of the world.

Late 19th and early 20th centuries

When Sultan Sa'id bin Sultan Al-Busaid died in 1856, his sons quarreled over the succession. As a result of this struggle, the empire—through the mediation of the British Government under the Canning Award—was divided in 1861 into two separate principalities: Zanzibar (with its East African dependencies), and Muscat and Oman.

The death of Sa'id bin Sultan in 1856 prompted a further division: the descendants of the late sultan ruled Muscat and Oman (Thuwaini ibn Said Al-Busaid, r. 1856–1866) and Zanzibar (Mayid ibn Said Al-Busaid, r. 1856–1870); the Qais branch intermittently allied itself with the ulama to restore imamate legitimacy. In 1868 Azzam ibn Qais Al-Busaid (r. 1868–1871) emerged as self-declared imam. Although a significant number of Hinawi tribes recognized him as imam, the public neither elected him nor acclaimed him as such.

Imam Azzan understood that to unify the country a strong, central authority had to be established with control over the interior tribes of Oman. His rule was jeopardized by the British, who interpreted his policy of bringing the interior tribes under the central government as a move against their established order. In resorting to military means to unify Muscat and Oman, Imam Azzam alienated members of the Ghafiri tribes, who revolted in the 1870–1871 period. The British gave Imam Azzam's rival, Turki ibn Said Al-Busaid, financial and political support. Turki ibn Said succeeded in defeating the forces of Imam Azzam, who was killed in battle outside Matrah in January 1871.

Muscat and Oman was the object of Franco-British rivalry throughout the 18th century. During the 19th century, Muscat and Oman and the United Kingdom concluded several treaties of friendship and commerce. In 1908 the British entered into an agreement of friendship. Their traditional association was confirmed in 1951 through a new treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation by which the United Kingdom recognized the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman as a fully independent state.

During the late 19th century and early 20th century, the sultan in Muscat faced rebellion by members of the Ibadi sect residing in the interior of Oman, centered around the town of Nizwa, who wanted to be ruled exclusively by their religious leader, the Imam of Oman. This conflict was resolved temporarily by the Treaty of Seeb, which granted the imam autonomous rule in the interior Imamate of Oman, while recognising the nominal sovereignty of the sultan elsewhere.

The conflict flared up again in 1954, when the new imam led a sporadic 5-year rebellion against the sultan's efforts to extend government control into the interior. The insurgents were defeated in 1959 with British help. "The Buraimi Confrontation" and "The Jebel Akhdar Campaign". The sultan then terminated the Treaty of Seeb and eliminated the office of the Imam. In the early 1960s, the Imam, exiled to Saudi Arabia, obtained support from his hosts and other Arab governments, but this support ended in the 1980s. Zanzibar paid an annual subsidy to Muscat and Oman until its independence in early 1964.

In 1964, a separatist revolt began in Dhofar province. Aided by Communist and leftist governments such as the former South Yemen (People's Democratic Republic of Yemen), the rebels formed the Dhofar Liberation Front, which later merged with the Marxist-dominated Popular Front for the Liberation of Oman and the Arab Gulf (PFLOAG). The PFLOAG's declared intention was to overthrow all traditional Persian Gulf régimes. In mid-1974, the Bahrain branch of the PFLOAG was established as a separate organisation and the Omani branch changed its name to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Oman (PFLO), while continuing the Dhofar Rebellion".Unquote

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 27th August 2013, 07:22 PM   #53
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Salaams All ; Note to Forum.
See http://www.omanisilver.com/contents/en-us/d363.html for a similar animal mark. The write up, however, is very suspect/wrong...mixing dancing swords and battle swords.
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Old 28th August 2013, 12:20 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams All ; Note to Forum.
See http://www.omanisilver.com/contents/en-us/d363.html for a similar animal mark. The write up, however, is very suspect/wrong...mixing dancing swords and battle swords.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


Ibrahiim,

I commend you on your passion and tenacity, however, you still have not left room for swords of the 19th century straight Oman type that you call dance swords that carry fighting blades.
When will you explore the type that look (By your accounts) as dancing swords but are of a fighting and practical nature.
They cannot be dismissed and your formula can not be absolute without their inclusion. I find your reluctance in the past to acknowledge the type and pursue the types bought to your attention as a little misleading within the given formula you present for they are present in the world and antiquity and must have their place.

Gavin
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Old 28th August 2013, 09:11 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwordsAntiqueWeapons
Ibrahiim,

I commend you on your passion and tenacity, however, you still have not left room for swords of the 19th century straight Oman type that you call dance swords that carry fighting blades.
When will you explore the type that look (By your accounts) as dancing swords but are of a fighting and practical nature.
They cannot be dismissed and your formula can not be absolute without their inclusion. I find your reluctance in the past to acknowledge the type and pursue the types bought to your attention as a little misleading within the given formula you present for they are present in the world and antiquity and must have their place.

Gavin


Salaams SwordsAntiqueWeapons ~ Thank you for your comments on my tenacity and passion.

Ok, swords of the 19th C straight, Omani. I will add "Long Hilt." The only sword that fits this criteria is the Omani Dancing Sword which entered service in about 1744 with the Busaidi Dynasty. You could call this sword Heraldic.. well almost since its idea was to give praise by march past...tribal surge past in revue order in front of the ruler and of course in the traditions (The Funoon) and at weddings where it was danced with and used in the mimic fight already discussed and in depth at Kattara for Comments.

There isn't another one. What does occur is a red sea blade(and a few others) cross mounted with an Omani long hilt and more than likely done since 1970 in Muttrah Souk Muscat. A lot of these blades came up from Sanaa. I was speaking to a dealer just the other day from Salalah and I got from him 4 Yemeni Saudia swords on what I would call backyard workshop produced hilts done in Sanaa. These blades come from Ethiopia and some, if not all, are German. No doubt many blades of a Red Sea nature were cross hilted ... I estimate there are several thousand in the world sold through Muscat and Salalah, sourced in Sanaa, which fit that description.

To me it is like cross hilting a Japanese sword on a Norwegian hilt... so I ask you is it thus a Japanese sword or Norwegian?

No self respecting Omani would buy an Omani Straight sword which does not vibrate like mad! These blades bend almost double and spring straight immediately but...(please I know about bendy blades and their fantastic fighting prowess but these are different) they bend because of their "buzz in the air" ability..with a flick of the wrist. Thats why they buy them. They laugh at blades on dancing swords that don't bend.

The fighting sword is the Omani Battle Sword.

( To keep it tight I dont mention curved swords here but there are Omani Kattara and Shamshiirs)

Please do show me any Omani Sword and I will classify it as below.

1. Omani Battle Sword.
2. Omani Dancing Sword.
3. Omani Shamshiir.
4. Omani Kattara.
5. Tourist.
6. Another classification I haven't yet thought of !


Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 28th August 2013, 11:14 AM   #56
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You have mail :-)
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Old 31st August 2013, 05:43 PM   #57
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Salaams all Note to Forum; Post #2 at http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=17556 describes the now known route of such blades; many originally 19th C German/European, sold to Ethiopia thence to Yemen(Sanaa) and Saudia and on to Salalah and Mutrah Souks which have appeared spuriously on Omani long hilts and sold to visitors/tourists as Omani swords. It is difficult to know where to slot this mixed up weapon since it is not of the family Omani Battle Sword nor is it an Omani Dancing Sword (The Straight Sayf).

It is however placed here for reference and carries the warning that an Omani long hilted straight sword with a blade that is not flexible must immediately be looked at as a potential fake and likely to be mismatched from a Red Sea variant.

Workshop in Muttrah have been identified as having created probably thousands of such mix ups since 1970. Many workshops are defunct but some remain. None of these swords appear to be absorbed into the Omani local market because;

"the dancing sword must be a certain style and able to bend often almost double since that is the criteria for the 1744 flexible dancing style continuing to be made locally today in Ras al Khaimah and Salalah and pre 1970 by wandering gypsy groups all over Oman".

I have included this post here and on Omani Dancing Swords... so that library is correctly served.

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 31st August 2013, 05:57 PM   #58
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Salaams all; Note to Forum; To Reset The Clock !

The Omani Battle Sword "Sayf Yamaani"

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 26th September 2013, 10:56 AM   #59
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Default The Omani Buckler ~ The Terrs Shield.

Salaams Note to Forum... Thick hide shield known here as Terrs and used originally with the Omani Battle Sword and given to the straight pageantry sword for status purposes. Variously said to have come from Rhino, Buffalo, Hippo or sea animal possibly the Dog Of The Sea (Walruss) hide

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Old 31st December 2013, 05:31 PM   #60
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Salaams; Note to Library. The British Museum exhibit...The Omani Battle Sword. Which they appear to call a dance sword (which it isn't).
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