Name:Antique Omani Khanjar with maker signature & floral symbol on the back: Omani Khanjar
Origin: Purchased in Nizwa Oman over 35 years ago; This type was made around Ibri In Oman but also in Saudi and the Emirates.
Sir Donald Hawley describes and illustrates new (1970's) examples of this type of khanjar as Omani in his book Oman & its Renaissance (ref 6) The Omani weapons expert Robert Richmond (ref 4) describes this type as Omani.
The important and reliable book Tribes in Oman by JRL Carter (ref 5) describes an almost identical khanjar of this type on page 161 as Omani and names the silversmith as Sayf b. Hamad al Shaybaniy of Ibri. However he also says “In form it is typical of the Dhahirah region of Oman and shows strong affinities with the daggers produced in the area of the United Arab Emirates. Those more typical of Oman have handles made of ivory of giraffe horn (assume Rhino) and the scabbard of the Omani ones is of woven silver thread” I believe mine have Rhino “handles”, identical to the old Saidi khanjars in my collection. Giraffe is the Arab work for rhino.
A 1991 Saudi exhibition catalogue of the King Faisal Center with the title Weapons of the Islamic world (ref 7) , describes on page 56 are again identical khanjars described as “Doojaniyan” daggers. The silver scabbards are set with fine silver beads , and the hilts are in rhinoceros horn. Al-ahsa (Saudi Arabia)”
A reader of our website Abdullatif Ali Al Nakkas identified the signature on the back of the chape as Abdul Majid al Dajani (Aldajani family had many workers) a famous Saudi Maker from al Hasa region whose work is legendary that the type is called Doujani, a variant of his name by many southern Saudis.
A similar khanjar with the same signature on the back of the chape was sold in Imperial Inc Auctions lot 410 march 21 2015. The floral emblem on the back of the handle seems to be slightly different, the meaning of this floral emblem is unclear (maybe a tribal symbol) The signature on the khanjar in the auction is identical to the above one in our website. This auction identifies the signature on the khanjar as "Abd al Madalrajan??" and dates it to the second half of the 19th century. They identify the khanjar as Omani. See photos in our photo slideshow.
The Saidi khanjar was produced and worn in Oman, but was also worn by Omani Arabs in East Africa and even by Arabs in Madagascar. Similar it seems that the above khanjar was worn in Oman, the Emirates and part of Saudi Arabia. From Sir Donald Hawley we know for certain that this type was also produced in Ibri (Oman) in by silversmith Hamad al Shaybany well into the 20th century. However other locations of production incl Emirates are most likely.