Omani antique silver coffeepot
Large Omani antique silver coffee pot
SILVER UTENSILS

Below you find a collection of silver household utensils. Sets of silver-work consisting of a coffeepot an incense-burner and a rose-water sprinkler were until recently made in Muscat and Mattrah.  Formerly they were in constant use but nowadays they are only used on formal occasions.  Oman´s traditional coffee-pot  (Dallah) is that from  Nizwa. Its shape is quite distinctive with a sharply defined waist. Most of the old coffee-pots  are made of copper with brass embellishments . Antique silver coffee-pots are extremely rare! Silver coffee pots in the souq are nearly always made after the 1970´s for expatriates or tourists. Coffee pots often have little danglers at the base of the handle. Sometimes small stones have are sealed in to the lid . Their purpose to announce the boiling of the coffee, other say their rattle would give away anyone lifting the lid to add poison to the pot...

Omani antique silver toepins

Omani antique silver toe-pins for wooden sandals

Antique Omani silver kohlpot

Omani antique female kohl-pot

Antique Omani silver coffee pot (large) named Dallah

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Dallah Antique Omani silver coffee pot (large)

Very rare antique Omani  silver Dallah. The great majority of silver coffee pots are made after 1970. Finding a large silver antique Omani coffee pot is therefore extremely extremely rare!!

The bottom and handle are made from messing (old repair?s)

Used for ceremonial purposes. Small stones sealed inside the lid rattle when the op is open or tipped. Height 34 cm.

 

 

 Antique Omani coffeepot

 antique Omani coffeepot dallah

Arab Name: Dallah.

Period: 1850-1900

Origin: Oman Nizwa

Antique Omani silver coffee pots are extremely rare.

References:

  1. The craft heritage of Oman Vol 2 Richardson & Dorr page 449
  2. Silver jewellery of Oman by Jehan S Rajab 1997 p22 (only the one in the front left is antique and Omani)
  3. Oman Faces and Places page 176-179 Use of coffee in Oman
  4. Tribute to Oman 22nd National day. "Copper Craftsmanship" By Robert Richmond p 136 - 140 shows similar examples made of copper
  5. The National Museum of Oman Highlights published by Scala Arts & Heritage publishers in  2016 page 9 shows a relatively modern silver coffee-pot made in Nizwa.

Dallah Antique silver Omani coffeepot (small size)

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Dallah Antique silver Omani coffeepot

 

Very rare antique Omani silver Dallah coffee-pot. Used for ceremonial purposes. Small stones sealed inside the lid rattle when the op is open or tip. Antique Omani silver coffee pots (dallah) are exceptionally rare!!

The antique dallah in copper or in silver are both made of thin material and therefore prone to damage, so adding to their rarity.

 

 

 

Antique Omani coffeepot

 

The bottom of this Omani coffee-pot is still in tact, which is rare

 

Arab Name: Dallah

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Nizwa or Rostaq

The prominent Rose design probably indicates that the coffee-pot was made in the town of Rustaq. Antique Omani silver coffee pots are almost impossible to find.

    References
  1. The craft heritage of Oman Vol 2 Richardson & Dorr page 449
  2. Silver jewellery of Oman by Jehan S Rajab 1997 page 22 (only the one in the front left is antique and Omani)
  3. Oman Faces and Places page 176-179 Use of coffee in Oman
  4. Tribute to Oman 22nd National day. "Copper Craftsmanship" By Robert Richmond p 136 - 140 shows similar examples made of copper

Omani silver incense burner and tong

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Omani silver incense burner

Scarce Omani silver incense burner.  Formerly in constant use but nowadays only used for ceremonial purposes.  A silver tong has been connected to the chain which is used to handle  the glowing coals when burning incense.

Incense may be gum from the Frankincense tree or it maybe  a sweet-smelling  wood such as the eastern Indian aloe-tree or a composite perfumed substance called dukhan meaning smoke.  This aromatic resin was in great demand in the ancient world (including Greeks and Romans)  for religious ceremonies and burial rites and the most important place where best-quality frankincense grew was and is southern Oman. However the role of Oman as an exporter of incense stopped when it was discovered how to produce cheap incense synthetically (chemically) Traditionally in Oman

After coffee has been served rosewater is sprinkled over the hands and sometimes over the heads of guests. Then incense is carried around, and its smoke is wafted into the beard and over the body. In the harem the women often put the burner under their clothing so that the aroma pervades the whole body for some time. Incense is the sign for departure as the Omani proverb shows: After the incense, there is no sitting on"

Antique Omani silver Incenseburner

 

Arab Names: Majmar (the silver tong is named Muhbash)

Period: 1900-1950

Origin: Oman Nizwa

References:

  1. The craft heritage of Oman p 449
  2. The silver Tong The craft heritage of Oman Vol 2 Richardson & Dorr page 448 item 086
  3. Ruth Hawley Omani Silver Longman London 1978 (no page numbers
  4. A tribute to Oman The Sultanates Yearbook: 1993/1994 "Perfumes of Arabia by Pippa Lacey" Apex Ruwi page 125
  5. Tribute to Oman 1994 page 32-41 White Gold The story of Frankincense by Pauline Shelton
  6. Catalog of the Oman exhibition in the Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam 2009 Wierook en andere geuren page 59 - 70
  7. Silver jewellery of Oman by Jehan S Rajab 1997 page 40
  8. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 140
  9. Throw down the anchor The story of the Muttrah souq by Maxine Burden, centre for Omani dress, Muscat Media Group 2014 page 112 contains an interview with a modern Incense trader in the Muttrah souq. Page 194-195 contains an other article on Incense.
  10. Oman Faces and places, articles from PDO News magazine 2009 page 117 photo of similar incense burner

Below you find a Youtube film on Omani incense and its history:

Antique Omani silver Female silver "kohl pot" with application stick

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Antique Omani silver Female silver KOHL POT

Scarce Female silver Kohl pot with arabesque design and application stick. Purpose: the black Kohl was used as makeup by women. Stick is used to apply the Kohl and the pot is used to store it. Children, men and women in Oman wear the cosmetic Kohl round the eye, which gives the (already large) eyes more expression. 

Local believe is that it improves eyesight however in practice many people LOST eyesight due to eye infections by the practice of passing the application stick around from person to person. 

Kohl is paste traditionally made from finely powdered sulphide of antimony mixed with rosewater. However it is also made form wood-ash mixed with vegetable oils and other means. The book by Lane (ref 3) contains detailed information on the use and manufacture of Kohl which is almost identical to that in Oman. Oman Adorned (ref 4)  page 131/133 contains a recipe for Kohl. Weight 90 grams. Container is 4,5cm high including the eye. The application stick is 12 cm long.

Antique Omani silver Kohlpot

Arab Name: Makhalah / Makhal

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Oman Nizwa (in view of arabesque design)

    References:
  1.  The craft heritage of Oman Vol 2 Richardson & Dorr page 448 items 081 and 080
  2. Ruth Hawley Omani Silver Longman 2000 (new edition) p 53
  3. William Lane An account of the manners and customs of the modern Egyptians 1833-1835
  4. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 112
  5. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p96 fig 90
  6. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 138

Female silver Kohlpot or perfume bottle with Baluchi designs

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Perfume Bottle

 

Very rare Omani female silver Kohlpot or more likely perfume bottle with Baluchi ornamentation.  Purpose: The stick is used to apply the perfume and the pot is used to store it. A tiny piece of cloth is attached to the stick. Weight 17 grams.   

Antique Omani silver perfume bottle

 Antique Omani perfume bottle

Arab Name: Makhalah

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Oman Balluchi

    References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 55 bottom p 131-134
  2. The craft heritage of Oman Vol 2 Richardson & Dorr page 448 item 081

Extremely rare and early Female Kohl container and application stick dating from the 19th century

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Extremely Rare and early Female silver Kohl pot with filigree design on the container and interesting early top.  Purpose: the black Kohl was used as make-up by women. This kohl container  is very special as the cover is identical to the covers of 19th century silver gun powder boxes, the cover of gun powder containers  and the silver toe-pin of early Omani sandals. The side of the container is decorated with some filigree similar to that on a Saidi khanjar. All these features suggest that the Kohl-pot was made in the 19th century! Finally the application stick is also very finely decorated.

The Stick is used to apply the Kohl and the pot is used to store it. Children, men and women in Oman wear the cosmetic Kohl round the eye, which gives the (already large) eyes more expression. 

Local believe is that it improves eyesight however in practice many people LOST eyesight due to eye infections by the practice of passing the application stick around from person to person. 

Kohl is paste traditionally made from finely powdered sulphide of antimony mixed with rosewater. However it is also made form wood-ash mixed with vegetable oils and other means. The book by Lane (ref 3) contains detailed information on the use and manufacture of Kohl which is almost identical to that in Oman. Oman Adorned (ref 4)  page 131/133 contains a recipe for Kohl. Weight 80 grams. The container including  the eye is 5 cm high. The application stick including  the eye is 10,5 cm long (probably a bit shortened over time)

Antique Omani silver kohlpotAntique Omani silver kohlpot

Arab Name: Makhalah / Makhal

Period: 1850-1900

Origin: Oman Sharqia area (includes the towns Sur and Al Mudairib) in view of the design of the top and the filigree work. In the past this area also had close ties with Zanzibar / East Africa.

    References:
  1.  The craft heritage of Oman Vol 2 Richardson & Dorr page 448 item 081: the example second from the left is similar, however the top of our Kohl container is original. 
  2. Ruth Hawley Omani Silver Longman 2000 (new edition) p 53 (different design)
  3. William Lane An account of the manners and customs of the modern Egyptians 1833-1835 (different design)
  4. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 112 (different design)
  5. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p96 fig 90  (different design)
  6. Traditional silver jewellery and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 138 (different design)

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

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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 thorn tweezer / thorn pick holder in the shape of a knife

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silver tweezer

Very rare Omani silver manqash. Omani men are not supposed to wear jewelry, however they are allowed to wear weapons, hence weapons were adorned to become a form of jewellery!

The slide-show contains photos of the following examples:

a)  A very fine steel/brass tweezer in a silver embroidered holder in the shape of a knife

b) An empty silver tweezer holder in the shape of a 16th cent gun

c) An empty silver tweezer holder octagonal in shape

                             d) A silver tweezer on a chain

The length including the eye of the tweezers on the first photo is 8 cm.

Antiuque Omani silver tweezer

 Omani antique silver tweezer

Arab Name: Manqash (ref 2: Carter)

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Oman (maybe Ibri)

    References
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 193
  2. Carter Tribes in Oman p 168
  3. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 139  (but no embroidered silver)
  4. British Museum has a more modern example in their on-line collection number 2009.6023.203 tweezers length 7 cm Sheath 5 cm. Set of silver tweezers and picks (menqash or munqash) for men, with a small silver sheath. Hung from chains and usually worn by a man on his belt. Decorated with chased patterns including circles, hatched lines and lozenges
  5. Oman and its Renaissance  by Sir Donald Hawley Stacey International London 1987 page 139 photo with similar item

An empty silver thorn tweezer holder in the shape of a 16th cent gun

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Tweezer

Common Omani silver manqash. Omani men are not supposed to wear jewelry, however they are allowed to wear weapons, hence weapons were adorned to become a form of jewelry!  An empty silver tweezer holder in the shape of a 16th cent gun

 

Antique Omani silver tweezer

Arab Name: Manqash (Ref 2: Carter)

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Oman Sur?

    References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 112, 193
  2. Carter Tribes in Oman p 168
  3. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p95
  4. Silver jewellery of Oman by Jehan S Rajab 1997 p17
  5. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 139
  6. Oman and its Renaissance  by Sir Donald Hawley Stacey International London 1987 page 139 photo with similar item

An empty silver thorn tweezer holder in the shape of a 16th cent gun

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Tweezer

Common Omani silver manqash. Omani men are not supposed to wear jewelry, however they are allowed to wear weapons, hence weapons were adorned to become a form of jewelry!  An empty silver tweezer holder in the shape of a 16th cent gun

 

 

 Antique Omani silver tweezer

Arab Name:  Manqash (Ref 2: Carter)

Period: 1850-1900

Origin: Oman. probably Sur.

References:

  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 193
  2. Carter Tribes in Oman p 168
  3. Silver jewellery of Oman by Jehan S Rajab 1997 p17
  4. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 139
  5. British Museum has similar item in their on-line collection number 2009, 6023.206; Weight: 10 grammes; Length: 4 centimetres (container) Small silver bullet-shaped container attached to a silver ring. Probably once part of a set of portable tweezers and picks (menqash or munqash) for men. The tweezers and picks would have hung from chains and were usually worn by a man on his belt. The bullet-shaped container is decorated with silver granulation and the top of the ring is formed from coiled silver wire.
  6. Oman and its Renaissance  by Sir Donald Hawley Stacey International London 1987 page 139 photo with similar item
  7. Wereld Museum Rotterdam has a similar item. 11 x d 2,5 cm l 10 x d 1,5 cm (pincet & priem). Inventory CIC-2001/156. Ex collection M. Wark

An empty silver thorn tweezer holder

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Tweezer

 

Common Omani silver manqash.  An empty silver tweezer holder

 

 

 

Arab Name: Manqash (Ref 2: Carter)

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Oman Sur?

    References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 193
  2. Carter Tribes in Oman p 168
  3. Silver jewellery of Oman by Jehan S Rajab 1997 p17
  4. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p139

A thorn tweezer on a very beautiful silver chain.

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Tweezer and very beautiful Omani silver chain

 

Very rare Omani antique silver chain. A tweezer on a very beautiful silver chain. See photo slide-show for a photo from around 1900 with a lady wearing a similar chain.  

 

 

 

 Omani antique silver chain

Arab Name: Manqash (Ref 2: Carter)

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Oman

    References:
  1. Oman Adorned Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 193
  2. Carter Tribes in Oman p 168
  3. National Museum Highlights 2016 page 64 An identical chain on  a khanjar belt is shown.

Antique Omani silver brooch named Shoka

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Antique Omani silver brooch named Shoka

 

Common Omani Silver brooch named Shoka with very fine chased designs. Used to fasten the female headscarf or the top of the dress. Weight 60 grams.

 

 

 

Antique Omani silver brooch

 

 

Arab Names: Shoka (thorn) / Bera (sharpened point). The bells/balls are named gelagil.

Period: 1930-1960

Origin: Oman

    References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 65 middle
  2. Silver jewellery of Oman by Jehan S Rajab 1997 p17
  3. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz  p29
  4. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman by Jean Greffioz 2009 (privately published) page 29 fig 2.17 has photo with a similar item.

Omani (?) Silver baby rattle (relatively new piece)

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Silver baby rattle

 

 

Common Omani Silver baby rattler.

  

Arab name: silver baby rattle

Period: 1950-1970

Origin: Oman or India

    References:
  1. Ruth Hawley Silver the traditional Art of Oman (2000 edition) p 52
  2. Carter Tribes in Oman p 168.

Two silver toe-pins for wooden sandals / shoes (very old)

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Slideshow Two silver toe-pins for wooden shoes

 

Two very rare Omani silver toe-pins for wooden sandals (without bells) and without the shoes. The toe-pins were sold as kohl-pots in the Nizwa souq. Height 5 cm.

 

In the slide-show we have added a photo of a pair of antique Omani wooden sandals with similar silver toe pins. These sandals are discussed in more detail   in the "wood" section.

 antique omani silver toe-pins

Omani Name: Qurhaf (wooden shoe); Kabakib / Kubkah

Period: 1800-1900

Origin: Oman or Zanzibar

    References:
  1. See the famous photo of Princess Bibi Salme wearing the shoes in Oman Adorned and other books for similar shoes.
  2. Craft heritage of Oman Neil Richardson & Maria Dorr Volume two page 463 illustration 167 (but with wooden toe-pins)
  3. Oman Exhibition Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam 2009 catalogue p 141.

Antique Omani silver fan-handle or walking stick handle with bells (very rare)

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Antique silver fan-handle

 Very rare antique Omani silver handle of a fan with bells.

 Omani silver fan holder  

Arab Name: Unknown

Period: 1850-1900

Origin: Oman

    References:
  1. Oman Adorned 193; Carter Tribes in Oman p 168
  2. Arab & Islamic Silver by Saad Al-Jadir 1981 Stacey International p 211