Omani Burqa
Omani antique silver Burqa

SILVER MASK HAIR

The amount of silver decoration for the head and hair is remarkable: For example the Halqa ornaments to fasten plaits with young girls. Married women had the Shabqa headdress made of goat leather with silver ornaments and covering the entire head. Most intriguing are of course the Omani masks. In the book "travels of Arabia" by Lieut Wellsted  1837 he gives a detailed description of his travels in Oman, on page 351 he states "in the country females go with their faces uncovered (!); but at Maskat they wear a singular description of veil of an oblong form, about ten inches in length and seven in breadth embroidered with a gold border.  In the middle , so as to cross in a vertical direction immediately over the nose , there is a piece of whalebone answering as a stiffener; and on either side of this two small apertures , through which they obtain a view of passing objects"

Ida Pfeiffer when visiting Muscat in 1848 writes " The Muscati women wear a sort of mask in blue fabric held by iron hooks or wire , which does not touch their faces. These masks are cut between the forehead and the nose , so that one can see more than just their eyes. They only put these masks on when they leave their houses; at home and in the vicinity of their dwellings , they do not hide their faces" This description clearly matches the mask shown above. Max von Oppenheim  writes in his book vom Mittelmeer zum Perzischen Golf (1900) page 327   "The women are wearing black masks embroidered in the colour Red, Blue, Gold or Silver. In combination with blue or red abaya dresses"  Jenny Balfour-Paul writes in "Indigo in the Arab world" 1979 page 141: " In some parts of Oman i.e. in Muscat and the surrounding areas as well as in certain settled parts of the interior , women do not mask their faces at all. But in the rest of Oman there is a clear divide between two distinctive types of mask:

  • 1) The burqu (=burqa), the all concealing full face mask
  • 2) The almost provocative model which provides only a minimal covering for the face (=Saif Malik)
  •  

The latter mask links Sohar , on the Batinah coast , with the Gulf shaykdoms to the North , and also with southern Persia and Makran (in Baluchistan) Both types of mask were still sometimes being fashioned from shiny local indigo-dyed fabric in the 1980´s. etc. The burqa is attached to the head by four strings which pass either side of the ears to tie at the back of the head; when not in use it is pushed to the top of the head. Although  it is obligatory to wear a mask in the presence of an unmarried man, its use on other occasions is much more flexible, depending on the age and wishes of the wearer and her husband. etc. "Omani antique silver Burqa

Omani antique silver embroidered Saif Malik mask

Emily Ruete writes in her book Memoirs of an Arabian princess 1886 : "The Arab woman is not allowed to show her face;it is covered with a mask, often at home and always at outings. At this one should not think , however, of the Egyption woman's maks, which is ugly and renders respiration difficult ; our masks were very elegantly made of black satin and trimmed with splendid lace, made from coloured silk, and gold and silver threads. They were in two main parts, joined by a small support; the upper part covered the nose and part of the cheeks. The eyes and the lower part of the face thus remained completely free. The mask was fastened with silk strings interwoven with gold or gold or silver chains which twisted around the head, at the same time kept the headdress in place"

!

Omani silver Mask Embroidered with silver disks

Omani silver Mask Embroidered with silver disks

Omani women´s Burqa (style called Saif Malik) embroidered with silver filament and decorated with silver sequins. The silk strings are not complete.

Bibi Salme is shown in a photo wearing this type of mask in the 1860´s. Masks are worn by girls/women from puberty onwards. Length 33 cm Height 10 cm. See British Museum on-line collection for similar item. Max Freiherr von Oppenheim (ref 6 Band 2 page 327) writes: " Die manner gehen alle bewaffnet, die frauen tragen die schon in Lingah vorkommende schwarze Maske mit Stickereien in Rot, Blau, Gold oder Silber. Beliebt sind blaue, auch rote Manteltucher"

Antique Omani Burqa

Photo below from around 1900: Both Zanzibar girls wearing a Saif Malik Burqa mask.

Omani Burqa

Arab Name: Saif Malik

Period: 1850-1920

Origin: Worn by women in Oman and Zanzibar

References:
  1. Craft heritage of Oman Neil Richardson & Maria Dorr Part two p 492 / p 493 illustration 370 and 371
  2. Saad Al Jadir Arab & Islamic Silver 1981 p 94 / 95
  3. Ida Pfeiffer A woman´s journey around the world
  4. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 196/198;
  5. Travels in Arabia by Wellsted 1837 p 351
  6. Silver jewellery of Oman by Jehan S Rajab 1997 p 53
  7. Vom Mittelmeer zum Persischen Golf Band II by von Oppenheim 1900 Berlin p 319 top p 327
  8. British Museum has similar item in their on-line collection number 2010, 6003.7 Length 32 cm Height 11 cm Late 19th century Woman's burqa (style called a saif malik) embroidered with silver filament and decorated with silver sequins. Fastened by flat braided loop and long round-braided tie of cotton and metallic thread worked over a cotton core, terminating in an ornamental tassel wrapped in silver thread
  9. British Museum on-line collection number Af1930,0205.16 purchased in Zanzibar
  10. F.B. Pearce Zanzibar the island metropolis of Eastern Africa, Barns & Noble New York 1920 On page 225 an Omani lady in Zanzibar wearing a similar mask.
  11. The traditional women's dress of Oman by Julia M. Stehlin-Alzadjali (centre for Omani Dress) Muscat press and publishing house (SAOC) 2010

Antique Omani face mask with silver chains and hooks to keep an (indigo died) Burqa in position (very old piece)

Antique Omani silver mask made of indigo cloth with heavy silver chains

Very Rare complete Bedouin face mask made of Indigo cloth (see Ref 11) and fitted with antique silver chains and clasps to hold the mask in place at four points.

On April 30 1848 the famous traveller Ida Pfeiffer visited Muscat and mentioned in her book: " The Muscati women wear a sort of mask in blue fabric held by iron hooks or wire , which does not touch their faces" The "iron" she mentions is obviously silver. The item includes two silver hooks. 

Max Freiherr von Oppenheim (ref 7 Band 2 page 327) writes: " Die manner gehen alle bewaffnet, die frauen tragen die schon in Lingah vorkommende schwarze Maske mit Stickereien in Rot, Blau, Gold oder Silber. Beliebt sind blaue, auch rote Manteltucher" Masks are worn by girls/women from puberty onwards. Weight 240 grams

 

Antique Omani MaskAntique Omani Burqa

Omani Burqa indigo coloured

Arab name: Burqa silver chains; Burcu

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Central and Northern Oman.

The growing of indigo plants and the production of indigo still took place in Oman 40 years ago (see Ref 11)

Youtube slide-show of the Sinaw market in Oman:

 

 

    References:
  1. Arab & Islamic Silver by Saad Al-Jadir 1981  Stacey International p 94/95 very similar to ours! Very Rare
  2. Craft heritage of Oman Neil Richardson & Maria Dorr Part two p 492 / p 493 illustration 370 and 371
  3. Saad Al Jadir Arab & Islamic Silver 1981 p 94 / 95
  4. Ida Pfeiffer A woman´s journey around the world
  5. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 196/198
  6. "Indigo in the Arab world" 1997 by Jenny Balfour-Paul (who also studied indigo and the Zar ceremony in Oman)
  7. Vom Mittelmeer zum Persischen Golf Band II by von Oppenheim 1900 Berlin p 319 top p 327

  8. Throw down the anchor The story of the Muttrah souq by Maxine Burden, centre for Omani dress, Muscat Media Group page 2014 pages 200-201 Contains article on Indigo dying including masks.

  9. The traditional women's dress of Oman by Julia M. Stehlin-Alzadjali (centre for Omani Dress) Muscat press and publishing house (SAOC) 2010

  10. Staatliche Museen  zu Berlin Similar item but without the silver chains. Inventory Ident.Nr. I B 14354 size 20 by 25 cm; Also inventory Ident.Nr. I B 14366

  11. Traditional Spinning and Weaving in the Sultanate of Oman by Gigi Crocker Jones published by the Historical society of Oman 1989

Omani silver Halka Earrings / mask fittings Rare complete piece of Omani Jewelry.

Earrings / mask fittings

 

Very rare magnificent Omani antique silver item. Top quality silver-work! The chain made from braided (stitched like a sock) silver.  With several silver appliqués including 2 mini Koran boxes. The finials / hooks in the shape of the evil eye and with arabesque  (Nizwa?) design.  Top quality item, but without the earrings. However could also very well have been used to keep a mask in position. Weight 200 grams. 89 cm long.

 

On April 30 1848 the famous female traveller Ida Pfeiffer visited Muscat and mentioned in her book: " The Muscati women wear a sort of mask in blue fabric held by iron hooks or wire , which does not touch their faces" The "iron" she mentions is obviously silver

Antique Omani silver Burqa  

Arab names: Part of a Mishel, Mishill  or Burqa (to support heavy earrings or to keep a mask into position)

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Oman

 References:

  1.  Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p71 bottom

Omani silver Halka earrings /mask hooks

Hooks for earrings/masks

 

Two very rare Omani antique silver hooks. Top quality silver-work! Weight 30 grams. Each hook 10 cm long. These decorated hooks probably have been used to keep a mask (Burqa) in position rather than to support the heavy earrings.

 

 

On April 30 1848 the famous female traveller Ida Pfeiffer visited Muscat and mentioned in her book: " The Muscati women wear a sort of mask in blue fabric held by iron hooks or wire , which does not touch their faces" The "iron" she mentions is obviously silver

 Antique Omani silver Burqa 

Antique Omani mask

 

Arab names: Part of a Mishel or Burqa (to support heavy earrings to to keep a mask into position)

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Oman

References:

  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 71 bottom

Masked and Jeweled women of war-girt Arabia 1916

Masked women Arabia New York Times 1916

Four  photos of masked ladies in an article with the title "Masked and Jeweled women of war-girt Arabia" in the New York Times of 1916.

In fact they used for the article the photos from older postcards of masked Muscat ladies produced by A.R. Fernandez. The titles below the photos also differ from those of Fernandez!  Also no reference to Fernandez in the article.  

Antique Omani Burqa

 

Antique Omani Burqa

 

Antique Omani Burqa

 
 

Antique Omani Burqa

 

Details of New York Times 1916 article

Four photos of masked Muscat women published  in March 9 1916 in  The New York Times mid-week pictorial. The texts below the pictures in the American magazine are:

  1. Behind the bars! Every women in Muscat is her own jailer- for modesty´s sake
  2. With rings on her fingers and bells on her wrists - an Arab girl of Muscat
  3. Masked, jeweled , and embroidered  - women of Koweit in the Northern part of Arabia (???) (comment: She wears Antal anklets)
  4. With armlets and anklets of gold - a Seedeboy girl of the Persian Gulf. Comment:  Seedeboy is anglo-indian slang for an African (e.g. used by Kipling) Note she is also wearing antal.anklets.

Note: Three of the pictures are taken from "A.R. Fernandes" postcards that were used in Muscat approx ten years earlier. The titles in the American magazine do not match the postcard titles... Suspect the fourth lady is also copied from a postcard we have not found yet.

References:

    1. New York Times march 9 1916

Omani Girls

Two Omani girls in Zanzibar playing with a doll

 

Official stereo photo title by Keystone Company USA: " Swahili women with a fetish: The extraordinary doll shaped object is a fetish, a holy object, which by some supernatural power keeps away devils and guards their happiness. Muslims in Zanzibar are less fanatically strict about religious than their brethren in Morocco and Turkey 

 

Description:

Stereographic photo taken around 1900. Comment: in our view it are just two Omani girls in Zanzibar playing with a doll wearing silver anklet and wooden (silver covered) shoes and masks.

References:

  1. Keystone-Mast Collection Guide 2003

Antique Omani large silver ornament used to fasten plaits with young girls

Silver Halka hair ornament

 

Very rare large high quality Omani large HALKA / HALQA. Used to fasten plaits with young girls.  With fine detailed floral designs, the heart in the middle has been heightened with gold. This is a a very old Halka. The modern Halka´s are smaller and crudely made. Weight 135 grams. Length without the chains and bells is 11,5 cm.

 Antique Omani silver hair ornament

 

Arab names: HALKA / HALQA

Period: 1850-1900

Origin: Oman (The heart shape suggests Rustaq)  Zanzibar

References:
  1. Oman Adorned Pauline by Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 66 bottom
  2. Oman catalog Tentoonstelling Nieuwe Kerk 2009 p 132 (poor example) 
  3. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p 66 fig 57
  4. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 18-19
  5. British museum have a poor example in their on-line collection number  As1999,01.24 purchased in Oman in the 1960´s weight 102 grams
  6. Islamic Art in Oman page 342 (poor examples)
  7. British Museum similar item but with very crude decoration (so more modern) 1950's.  Length: 15.5 centimetres (incl. danglers) Width: 8 centimetres (widest part) Weight: 102 grammes Museum Reg: As1999,01.24

Antique Omani large HALKA / HALQA used to fasten plaits with young girls

Omani silver hair ornament named Halka

 

Very rare high quality large Omani silver  HALKA / HALQA used to fasten plaits with young girls.  This is a very old large Halka with fine detailed floral designs and four silver bosses. Modern ones are much smaller and crudely made. Typically worn by young girls. Weight 120 grams. The length without the bells and chains is 11,5 cm.

 

Antique Omani silver Halka

 

Arab names: HALKA / HALQA 

Period: 1850-1900

Origin: Oman interior Zanzibar

References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 66 bottom
  2. Oman catalogue Tentoonstelling Nieuwe Kerk 2009 page 132
  3. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p 66 fig 57
  4. Silver the traditional Art of Oman 2000 (new edition) Ruth Hawley p 34
  5. Silver jewellery of Oman by Jehan S Rajab 1997 p 24
  6. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz page 18-19
  7. Arab & Islamic Silver by Saad Al-Jadir 1981  Stacey International page 94
  8. British Museum on-line collection number 2009,6023.158 Weight 144 grams Comment: This is a relatively modern example
  9. Islamic Art in Oman page 342 poor examples
  10. Oman Faces and Places p 118 (modern example of this type)
  11. Oman and its Renaissance  by Sir Donald Hawley Stacey International London 1987 page 94 photo left shows a girl wearing a very similar Halka.
  12. Oman Faces and places, articles from PDO News magazine 2009. Contains photo of a modern Halka being made p141

Antique Omani Shabka Headdress made of goat-skin straps and silver appliqués

Shabka Made from woven leather straps and silver appliqués

Common Omani Shabka ladies headdress. Made from woven goat leather straps and silver appliqués (najm). Worn by Bedouin women. Each cap is individually made for an by that person alone. The bottom part includes a row of silver cylinders on the sides, and hanging down fringes of plaited and rolled up leather. The shabka is worn on special occasions by the Bedouin women of central and northern Oman (e.g. Bidiyah and areas in the Wahiba Sands) The hair underneath the shabka would be plaited and knotted into a bunch at the nape of the neck and wrapped in a fine-meshed black cloth. When worn, the shabka itself was also covered by a fine-mesh see-through black head-shawl. It was sometimes combined with a similarly constructed leather collar (see next item)

According to Oman Adorned (Ref 1) The forehead piece, the alaka, was attached to the front of the head-dress - with shy or reserved women, this was the only part of the shabka which was readily visible when worn; but younger and less shy women usually contrived to arrange their head-shawl in such a way as to show off as much of their head-dress as possible...This fine head-dress was worn only for special festivals, such as weddings, Eid celebrations, public circumcision ceremonies and on other occasions when a number of households met to mark some happy event (sharh).

 

Antique Omani silver headdress

 

Arab names: Shabka / Shabkah

Period: 1850-1950

Origin:  Northern and central Oman (Bedouin)

The Shabka head dress is only worn by Bedouin women

References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond Miranda Morris / Apex London 1997 p 158-161
  2. Craft heritage of Oman Neil Richardson & Maria Dorr Part two p 353 item 031
  3. Catalog of the Oman exhibition in the Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam 2009 page 133
  4. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p 68 fig 61
  5. Silver jewellery of Oman by Jehan S Rajab 1997 p67
  6. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman by Jean Greffioz p 16-17
  7. Ethnic Jewellery from Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands 2002 Amsterdam Pepin Press p65
  8. British Museum on-line collection number 2010.6003.1
  9. Islamic art in Oman page 345
  10. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman by Jean Greffioz 2009 (privately published) page 17 fig 2.1 has photo with a similar item.

Two very rare antique Omani Silver hanger / mini bowls for mixing cosmetics e.g. antimony (very old)

Silver hanger/ mini bowls for mixing cosmetics

Two very rare Silver hanger/ mini bowls for mixing cosmetics in "bulk" (see Carter Ref 1) Each bowl with an inlaid stone. These mini bowls are typically worn on a necklace.    The combination of the stone in the middle and the shape of bowl also gives an "evil eye" protection  design. Length 4,5 and 5 cm

Antique Omani silver

Omani antique silver bowl for mixing antimony

 Omani antique silver bowl for fixing antimony
 
Antique Omani silver makeup mixing bowl

Arab Name: Two antique Omani Silver hanger/ mini bowls for mixing cosmetics

Period: 1850-1900

Origin: Oman

    References
  1. Tribes in Oman 1982 JRL Carter p 24 see illustration
  2. Ruth Hawley Silver the traditional Art of Oman (2000 edition) p 25
  3. British Museum on-line collection number 2009,6023.221 length 4,5 cm (pendant) Height: 2 centimetres (pendant) Silver necklace with a bowl-shaped pendant. The rim of the pendant is decorated on the exterior with borders of beaded wire, twisted wire and hearts made from twisted wire. A small round piece of green glass is set in the centre of the bowl on its exterior. The pendant is suspended from a silver loop-in-loop chain. Cotton thread has been tightly wound on the end of the chain to prevent it from unfastening and again five centimetres below the end, to shorten it. This seems to indicate that the necklace was once worn by a child.

Antique Omani silver neck-piece of the Shabka headdress

Silver and leather neckpiece

Common Omani silver Neck-piece made from woven goat leather straps and silver appliqués (najm).

Worn by Bedouin women in combination with the Shabka

 

Antique Omani silver shabka

Antique Omani bedouin dress

Arab name: Bib

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Northern and Central Oman (Bedouin)

References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 158-161
  2. Craft heritage of Oman Neil Richardson & Maria Dorr Part two p 353 and p 440/441 item 032
  3. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p 67 fig 60; p 68 fig 62
  4. British Museum has a similar item in their on-line collection number 2009.6023. 246 length 47 cm Width 11 cm Collar made of dark brown woven goat-leather onto which is stitched seven rows of silver studs. Six dome-shaped beads are fastened across the centre on the back. The edge of the collar is embellished with plain and stamped silver discs and one Belgian fifty-cent coin dated 1909 from the reign of King Leopold II. Six tube-shaped silver beads with granulated decoration are threaded on leather thongs on the front-ends of the collar. It is worn across the top of the shoulders and is secured at the front by two long brown cotton cords hanging from the ends of the collar. This type of collar is usually worn with a similarly decorated leather head-dress (see 2009,6023.245) by the Bedouin women of northern Oman (e.g. Bidiyah and areas in the Wahiba Sands)
  5. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman by Jean Greffioz 2009 (privately published) page 17 fig 2.2 has photo with a similar item.

Antique Omani silver Dhofari headscarf weight

Dhofari Sils scarf weight

Scarce sils with piece of Sanqad chain. The sils is the most widely worn headpiece in Dhofar. Heavy silver head-dress ornament in the shape of a triangle (sils) to the apex of which is soldered a silver ring, and to the broad base of which is attached a double-fringe of chains and small round danglers. The triangular section is densely ornamented with stamped rosettes, plain silver discs, silver balls and pierce-work. It is topped with two layers of silver balls.

The sils is the most widely-worn headdress ornament of married women in Dhofar, southern Oman. It is knotted to one corner of a woman's rectangular headscarf and swung over the shoulder to act as a weight to anchor the headscarf in place.  Size: 18,5 cm;

 

Antique Omani headscarf weight

 

Arab names: Sils (headscarf weight)  Silsalah (Carter) The chain part is named Sanqad or Dera 

Period: 1900-1960

Origin: Oman: Dhofar region

 References:
  1. Oman Adorned Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 231-233
  2. Craft heritage of Oman Neil Richardson & Maria Dorr Volume 2  p 437 fig 16
  3. J.L. Carter Tribes in Oman Peninsular publishing 1982 page 110
  4. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p32
  5. Islamic art in Oman page 342
  6. Oman and its Renaissance  by Sir Donald Hawley Stacey International London 1987 page 138 photo with similar item
  7. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman by Jean Greffioz 2009 (privately published) page 32 fig 2.22 has photo with a similar item.

Omani silver Dhofari headscarf weight

Dhofari Sils head scarf weight

 

Common Omani silver sils. Triangular-shaped silver ornament with bells and dangles worn by married women of Dhofar as a weight to keep the headscarf in place.  Length 12 cm Weight 65 grams.

 

 Omani silver headscarf weight

 

Arab name: Sils / Silsalah (Carter)

Period: 1900-1960

Origin: Oman:  Dhofar region

References:
  1. Oman Adorned Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 231-233
  2. Craft heritage of Oman Neil Richardson & Maria Dorr Volume 2 p 437 fig 16
  3. Silver jewellery of Oman by Jehan S Rajab 1997 p62
  4. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz 32
  5. British Museum on-line collection number 2008,6023.141 weight 68 grams  length 11 cm  Triangular silver head-dress ornament (sils), with a soldered a silver ring at the apex, and six sets of chains and bells attached to the bottom via soldered hoops covered with stamped rosettes. The triangular section is made of a pierced sheet of silver metal ornamented with silver wire, plain silver discs and stamped rosettes. The rosettes and discs on the front of the sils are gilded. Each hoop at the bottom of the triangle has attached to it two sets of dangling elements: one set consists of two chains with bells and the other of silver elements shaped like 8s soldered together and topped with a diamond shape linked together by gathered silver wire and terminating in two miniature stamped rosettes
  6. Islamic Art in Oman page 342
  7. Oman and its Renaissance  by Sir Donald Hawley Stacey International London 1987 page 138 photo with similar item
  8. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman by Jean Greffioz 2009 (privately published) page 32 fig 2.22 has photo with a similar item.

Antique Omani silver Dhofari headscarf weight

Sils

  

Rare small Omani silver sils. Worn by married women of Dhofar as a weight to keep the headscarf in place. Length. 13,5 cm

   

Antique Omani silver sils

Arab name: Omani silver headscarf weight named Sils made in Dhofar

Period: 1900-1960

Origin: Oman Dhofar region

References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p231-233
  2. Craft heritage of Oman Neil Richardson & Maria Dorr Volume 2 p 437 fig 16
  3. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p 67 fig 59
  4. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz page 32
  5. Islamic Art in Oman page 342

Antique Omani silver Dhofari headscarf weight

Antique Omani silver Dhofari Sils

 

 

Rare Omani silver sils. Worn by married women of Dhofar as a weight to keep the headscarf in place. length 11 cm

 

Antique Omani silver sils 

Arab name: Sils

Period: 1900-1960

Origin: Oman Dhofar region

References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 231-233
  2. Craft heritage of Oman Neil Richardson & Maria Dorr Volume 2 p 437 fig 16
  3. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz page 32
  4. Islamic Art in Oman page 342

Antique Omani silver Omani Silver headdress

Hair string named SHEMRUCK

 

Rare Omani silver Shamruck, especially difficult to find with such a beautiful  original silver finial bead (very detailed silver work)

Made of plated goat leather  and overlapping thin disks with very fine silver ornament / bead at end.  Worn by Bedu women of central and northern Oman.  Weight 35 gram but partly leather.  Purpose: Jewelry for the hair. Weight 40 grams.

 

 

Antique Omani silver

 

 

Arab names: Shamrukh  / Shemruck Bedewyna

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Oman. Mahra women

References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997  p 62; p 161
  2. The Craft heritage of Oman volume 2  p 438 fig 14
  3. Catalog of the Oman exhibition in the Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam 2009 page 135  (a later variant)
  4. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman by Jean Greffioz 2009 (privately published) page 25 fig 2.12 has photo with a similar item.

Two Omani silver Dhofari Hair ornament

Dhofari Hair decoration

 

Common Omani silver Tassel like hair ornaments.  Typically worn in sets of six by young girls or eight by women.  These plait ornaments would have been attached to the ends of the plaits which were often thickened and extended with black wool.

According to Miranda Morris, these plait ornaments were stuffed with palm-fibre or pieces of cotton wool from the wild cotton plant, or from the fruit of Caloptris procera. The fibre was soaked in pitch (lek), resin (samgh) or quicklime (nura) before being inserted into the silver cone in order to prevent the valuable but fragile silver from splitting, denting, or being damaged in any other way. Miranda Morris, 'Oman Adorned: a portrait in Silver' (Muscat, 1997) p.234. She goes on to say that 'a girl wore six of these attached to her plaits, a married woman usually eight - or ten for full dress'. Morris, 'Oman Adorned: a portrait in Silver', p.234.

Omani silver hair decoration

 
 

Arab names:  Athaqil / Atakil

Period: 1930-1970

Origin: Oman Dhofar region

References:
  1. Oman Adorned  by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 235, 269-271;278-284;312-313 p 231-232
  2. Craft heritage of Oman Neil Richardson & Maria Dorr Volume 2  p 437 fig 13
  3. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p 67 fig 59; Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 20
  4. PDO News No 4/1992 Oman silver Jewelry by Rebecca Brickson p 30
  5. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman by Jean Greffioz 2009 (privately published) page 20 fig 2.6 has photo with a similar item
  6. The Wereld Museum in Rotterdam has two similar hair ornaments. h 10 x br 2,3 cm (1) h 9,7 x br 2,3 cm (2) weight: 54 grams (for 2). Ex collection Smith / Hutschenruyter. Inventory 77079.
  7. British Museum has 10 examples reg 2012,6010.115.a-j