Omani antique silver Koranbox
Omani antique silver Koran-box
SILVER KORANBOX

 Koran boxes or Hirz in Arabic are typically amulets that contain a verse from the Koran, as the name already suggests.  However they can also can contain some sort of black pitch to prevent the silver from denting or more likely to add extra cheap weight for the silver-dealer.

Koran boxes are in fact also talismans and therefore it could be argued that they should be part of the Amulet section of our website. The smaller Koran-boxes are for children.

S.M. Zwemer writes in 1902 in his  book "Topsy Turvy Land Arabia pictured for Children" a few verses from the Koran are written out and put in a leather or silver case and also tied around the arm or neck of the baby.  If the child shows signs of illness the mother makes it swallow some of the Koran. That is, a portion is written out and the ink washed off with water and this dirty (ink) water is taken by the patient"

Omani  antique silver Koranbox

Omani antique silver Koranbox

Emily Ruete in her book Memoirs of an Arabian princess 1886 writes: "In cases of severe illness one turns to God and to this end verses from the Kuran are considered to be salutary. A person generally considered devout writes the appropriate verses on a white plate with a solution of saffron . The writing is dissolved with a little water  (mostly rose-water) and this mixture is given to the sick person to drink. Three times a day he has to take this medicine, One has to take special care that no drop of the sanctified liquid drips on the floor"

Antique Omani silver necklace with Koran box and Maria Theresia Thalers and silver mounted coral branches.

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Antique Omani silver necklace with Koran box

 

Large silver necklace with an Omani cylindrical Hirz with string) and six Theresia Thalers and six silver mounted coral branches  and many other silver beads in two strings. Total weight approx 900 grams. Early example with fine detailed silver work.

 

 

 

 

Omani antique silver koran box

 Omani antique silver koran box

Omani antique silver amulet

Omani antique silver necklace

 

Arab Name: Marriya mardusa (double strand necklace) with large hirz.

Period: 1850-1900

Origin: Oman Sharqiyah region

    References:
  1. Oman Adorned Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 99,100
  2. Craft heritage of Oman Neil Richardson & Maria Dorr Volume 2 p 441 item 034 and 040
  3. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p 28
  4. Silver jewellery  Oman by Jehan S Rajab 1997 p 42
  5. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 63-64
  6. Ethnic Jewellery from Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands The René van der Star Collection 2002 Amsterdam Pepin Press page 48
  7. Oman Faces and places, articles from PDO News magazine 2009 page 139
  8. Wereld Museum Rotterdam has a similar necklace in their collection (but without the coral beads). h 65 x br 30 x d 2,4 cm gewicht: 957 gr. Ex Collection Smith/Hutschenruyter.De Maria Theresa thalers zijn zo gesoldeerd en geregen dat de achterzijde naar boven is gericht, zodat haar buste niet zichtbaar is tijdens het dragen van het sieraad. Dit hangt zeker samen met de terughoudendheid in het afbeelden van mensen in de islam (dat gangbaar is binnen een religieuze context) Published in Tentoonstellingscatalogus, De Kracht van Zilver, etnische sieraden uit de collectie Smith-Hutschenruyter, Mols. L. e.a., Mercatorfonds Brussel & Wereldmuseum Rotterdam, 2011, p. 113, afb. 21.  Inventory number 77029
  9. British Museum later (1950's) example and single strand. Amuletic silver hirz necklace featuring a cylindrical hirz (Qur'an case) pendant elaborately decorated with die-stamped floral designs, gold-leaf and silver granulation with 14 sets of diamond-shaped danglers hanging from chains. The back of the pendant is more simply decorated with spiral wirework and silver granulation. The necklace also includes 18 barrel-shaped silver beads, 12 Indian Rupees, a pendant of branched coral (marjan or mirgan) and another pendant made from a small spherical glass perfume bottle stopper set in silver. At either end of the necklace is a long tubular bead which is held in place by a knot. The necklace is strung on thickly twisted cotton rope and is fastened on the back with a thin twisted silver wire. The necklace is worn with the faces of the British monarchs resting against the wearer's body (i.e. obverse of the coins face down) The Rupees date from 1879-1916 and therefore date to the reigns of King Edward VII, King George V and Queen Victoria. Similar necklaces are worn by women in northern Oman and by the bedouin women of central Oman and the Wahiba Sands. This one is probably from the Sharqiyah region of northern Oman

Antique Omani three tier flat Koran box

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Antique Omani three tier Hirz

 

Common three tier Hirz for the back. Weight: 150 grams (just the Hirz).

 

 

 

 

Omani silver necklace

 

Arab name: Three tier Hirz   (meaning amulet box)

Period:1850-1950

Origin: Oman Nizwa

References:

  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 98-99 middle & bottom
  2. A tribute to Oman The Sultanates Yearbook: 1993/1994 "Magical designs" Robert Richmond. Apex Ruwi page 52
  3. Catalog of the Oman exhibition in the Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam 2009 page 139
  4. Silver jewellery of Oman by Jehan S Rajab 1997 p 43
  5.  

Antique Omani silver necklace with Koran box

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Omani silver Marriya necklace

 

Scarce Omani silver Marriya necklace. Nice old piece but with some of the beads missing and not with the original thicker rope. 

Several silver chains with the hand of Fatima have been connected to the Koran Box. The heavy finials are characteristic for this necklace from central Oman. Weight 275 grams. 

 

 

Antique Omani Koranbox

Antique Omani silver Koran box

Arab name: Marriya necklace

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Central Oman

    References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton Robert Richmond Miranda Morris / Apex London 1997 p 180-181
  2. Arab & Islamic Silver by Saad Al-Jadir 1981 Stacey International page 90
  3. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman by Jean Greffioz 2009 (privately published Title page has photo with a similar item.

Antique Omani silver Rectangular Hirz (Koran box )

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Omani silver Koran box

Rare very small Omani silver  Ibra Hirz has a central loop to thread it onto a rope.  Very old hirzs with gild. This type of small Hirz was used for a child. Filled with resin. However some damage to the top.  The Koran-boxes are sometimes filled with a Koran text and or a resin to prevent it from denting. Measures 5 by 3,5 cm.  Weight 30 grams.

 

Antique Omani silver koranbox 

Arab Name: Hirz  (meaning amulet box)

Period: 1850-1900

Origin: Oman Sinaw / Ibra

    References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 90 - 97 p
  2. A tribute to Oman The Sultanates Yearbook: 1993/1994 "Magical designs" Robert Richmond. Apex Ruwi page 49-58
  3. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p 35
  4. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p58
  5. British Museum has similar Hirz reg.  2009,6023.226 Width: 4 centimetres (hirz) Length: 5.2 centimetres (hirz).

Antique Omani silver koran box with amulets / Charms

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Antique Omani Koran box named Hirz and amulets

Common Rustaq Hirz with Rose motive in the middle combined with geometrical designs. Very fine inlay-work.

On the back of the box the name of the owner has been soldered with silver wire. With chain and attached half-moon silver appliqués. The chain has several silver Thalers, and silver mounted coral branches plus some silver beads with  charms (including  glass stoppers)

The box is sometimes filled with a Koran text and or a resin to prevent it from denting.

Antique Omani silver koran boxOmani silver koranbox

Back of the Koran box with text in silver, which is highly unusual!

Arab Name: (Bedouin) Marriya / Hirz  (meaning amulet box)

Period: 1900-1950

Origin: The diamond shaped on-lays are typical of the Sharqiah area ref 1 page 96.

    References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 90 - 97
  2. J.L. Carter Tribes in Oman Peninsular publishing 1982 page 26
  3. A tribute to Oman The Sultanates Yearbook: 1993/1994 "Magical designs" Robert Richmond. Apex Ruwi page 49-58
  4. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p 30
  5. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 49
  6. Arab & Islamic Silver by Saad Al-Jadir 1981   Stacey International  p 99
  7. British Museum on-line collection number Af1974,01.1 purchased in Zanzibar
  8. Wereld Museum Rotterdam has a similar necklace. h 38,5 x br 17 x d 1,8 cm gewicht: 368 gr. Ex collection Smith / Hutschenruyter. Inventory 77129.
  9.  A world of necklaces. Africa. Asia, Oceania, America from the Ghysels Collection ; Milaan, Skira ; 2003 ; p. 178-179 & p. 428
  10. Ethnic jewellery from Africa, Asia and Pacific Islands. The René van der Star Collection ; Amsterdam/Singapore; Pepin Press ; 2002 ; p. 54 (left)

Antique Omani silver Koran box (arabesque design)

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silver Koran box

Very Rare Omani silver Nizwa Hirz (with driven floral design size rectangular) Extremely difficult to find in this size and quality. The box is sometimes filled with a Koran text or a resin to prevent it from denting. Very fine silver-work. 

Weight 240 grams.  Measures 9 by 7 cm.

 

 

Arab Name: Hirz (meaning amulet box) / Hirtz

Period: 1850-1900

Origin:  Oman Nizwa, Sumail  or Rostaq

The spiral of leaves (arabesque) design probably indicates the Koran box was made in Nizwa.

Antique Omani silver koran box

Antique Omani silver amulet

    References
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 90 - 97
  2. J.L. Carter Tribes in Oman Peninsular publishing 1982 page 26
  3. A tribute to Oman The Sultanates Yearbook: 1993/1994 "Magical designs" Robert Richmond. Apex Ruwi page 49-58
  4. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p 10, 21
  5. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 50

Antique Omani silver Koran box from Rustaq

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Antique Omani silver Koran box from Rustaq

Very Rare Omani silver Rustaq Hirz with (golden) Rose motive in the middle combined with geometrical designs or scrolled leaf design. Very fine inlay-work. The box is sometimes filled with a Koran text and or a resin to prevent it from denting.  Opening on the left. Weight 75 grams Koran box 4 by 6 cm.

 

Antique Omani Silver Koranbox

Arab Name: Hirz  (meaning amulet box)

Period: 1850-1900

Origin: Oman Rustaq

The central Rose design probably indicates the Koran-box was made in Rustaq.

 References:

  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond Miranda Morris / Apex London 1997 p 90 - 97
  2. A tribute to Oman The Sultanates Yearbook: 1993/1994 "Magical designs" Robert Richmond. Apex Ruwi page 49-58
  3. Arab & Islamic Silver by Saad Al-Jadir 1981   Stacey International  p 99

Antique Omani silver Koran box

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Silver Koran-box

 

Common Omani silver Rustaq Hirz with Rose motive in the middle combined with geometrical designs. The box is sometimes filled with a Koran text and or a resin to prevent it from denting. Koran box 6 by 8 cm.  Weight 440 grams.

 

 Antique Omnai silver Hirz

 

Arab name:Hirz   (meaning amulet box)

Period: 1750-1850

Origin: Oman Rustaq

 References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond Miranda Morris / Apex London 1997 p 90 - 97
  2. A tribute to Oman The Sultanates Yearbook: 1993/1994 "Magical designs" Robert Richmond. Apex Ruwi page 49-58

Antique Omani silver Koran box with Thalers, coral beads and charms

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Omani silver Koran-box

 

Rare heavy type of Hirz with diamond shaped elements and empty square in the middle. With silver chain and 2 small Koran boxes.

 The box is sometimes filled with a Koran text and or a resin to prevent it from denting. Size 10 by 6 m. Weight 470 grams.

 

 

 Antique Omani silver Koran box

Antique Omani silver amulet

Arab name:Hirz   (meaning amulet box)

Period: 1850-1900

Origin: Oman (the rod along the top suggests that it was made in Sinaw )

  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 90 - 97
  2. J.L. Carter Tribes in Oman Peninsular publishing 1982 page 26
  3. A tribute to Oman The Sultanates Yearbook: 1993/1994 "Magical designs" Robert Richmond. Apex Ruwi page 49-58
  4. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 49
  5. Islamic Art in Oman page 349

Antique Omani silver Koran box for children

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Koran box for children

 

Rare small rectangular Omani silver Hirz for children to avoid the evil eye and a small cylindrical Koran box.

Floral designs similar to the so called Sur anklets. Weight 7 grams. Length 5,5 cm. 

 

 

Antique Omani silver Koran box

 
 

Arab Name: Hirz (meaning amulet box)

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Oman Sur?

    References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 90 - 97
  2. A tribute to Oman The Sultanates Yearbook: 1993/1994 "Magical designs" Robert Richmond. Apex Ruwi page 49-58
  3. Oman Faces and places Page 138

Miniature antique Omani silver Koran box for children

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Small antique Omani silver Koran box for children

 

Rare very small rectangular Hirz for children to avoid the evil eye. Size 2,5 by 1,5cm

 

 

  

Antique Omani silver Koran BoxAntique Omani silver miniature

Arab Name: Hirz  (meaning amulet box)

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Oman Ibra

    References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 90 - 97
  2. A tribute to Oman The Sultanates Yearbook: 1993/1994 "Magical designs" Robert Richmond. Apex Ruwi page 49-58
  3. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 56
  4. Oman Faces and places page 138

Antique Omani silver Koran box (Arabesque design)

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Antique Omani Koran box named Hirz

Common Omani silver Nizwa Hirz (with driven floral design size rectangular)

The box is sometimes filled with a Koran text and or a resin to prevent it from denting. Weight 38 grams. Length 6 cm. 

 

Antique Omani silver Koran Box

 
 

Arab Name: Hirz   (meaning amulet box)

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Oman Nizwa

    References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 90 - 97
  2. A tribute to Oman The Sultanates Yearbook: 1993/1994 "Magical designs" Robert Richmond. Apex Ruwi page 49
  3. British museum has a similar item in their on-line collection number 2009,6023.229 weight 68 grams length  5.4 cm; Height: 3.5 centimetres (Hirz pendant) Width: 5.4 centimetres. 1950's   Amuletic necklace featuring a small silver rectangular hirz (Qur'an case) pendant hanging from a simple silver chain. The hirz case does not have danglers attached and is, therefore, sometimes referred to as a 'khatma' (literally recital of the Qur'an) to differentiate it from a hirz. It bears 'Nizwa-style' stamped decoration of two curving vine tendrils surrounded by a border of circles and hatched lines. The case is sealed shut. Northern Oman, probably Nizwa
  4. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman by Jean Greffioz 2009 (privately published) page 50 fig 4.8 has photo with a similar item.

Antique Omani silver Koran Box Belushi

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Antique Omani silver koranbox

Very rare Beluchi Koran box to be worn on your arm.  The box is sometimes filled with a Koran text  or even a miniature Koran.

The upper arm was a place where amulets were sometimes tied. Diameter 6 cm. Weight 55 grams.

 

 

Antique Omani Silver Koranbox

Antique Omani silver Koran box

 

Arab Name: Hirz  (meaning amulet box)

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Oman Balluchi

References:

  1. Check

Antique Omani silver Koran box (cylinder design with arabesque)

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Silver Koran box

Very rare Omani silver small cylinder shaped Hirz, typically worn by children. Weight is 20 grams but filled with resin.  Length 5 cm. Rare type.

 

Omani silver koranbox

Arab Name: Hirz  (meaning amulet box)

Period: 1850-1900

Origin: Central Oman

    References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 90 - 97
  2. A tribute to Oman The Sultanates Yearbook: 1993/1994 "Magical designs" Robert Richmond. Apex Ruwi page 52-58
  3. Oman Faces and Places page 138
  4. PDO News No 4/1992 p 28.
  5. Oman Faces and places, articles from PDO News magazine 2009 p 138

Antique Omani Koran box (Single tier Hirz)

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Single tier Hirz

 

Common Omani silver Hirz for the back (single tier) with chain. Total weight 190 gram. Subtracted 50 grams for the resin inside the Koran-box.  The box is sometimes filled with a Koran text and or a resin to prevent it from denting. 

 

  

Antique Omani silver Koran box

 

Arab Name: Hirz   (meaning amulet box)

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Oman Nizwa

 

    References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 90 - 97 ;
  2. Islamic Art in Oman page 348 

Antique Omani silver triangular pendent

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silver triangular pendent

 

Rare Omani silver Triangular Loh  pendent. Sometimes called a poor-woman´s Hirz. This is a flat Hirz. Difficult to find with such fine detailed silver-work. Nice inlay-work and covered in gild.  The silver "eye"  on the top is nearly worn through. Weight 50 grams. 8,5 cm wide.

 

 

 Omani silver pendent

Arab Names: Loh Muthallith Called Hirz by the Bedouin in central Oman / Luh Muthalith

Period: Arab Name

Origin: Oman Bahla

    References
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 page 85 bottom page 86 above
  2. A tribute to Oman The Sultanates Yearbook: 1993/1994 "Safe and Sound" by Robert Richmond Apex p 192
  3. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p 46
  4. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 75
  5. Arab & Islamic Silver by Saad Al-Jadir 1981  Stacey International p 106
  6. Britiish Museum has a similar amulet reg. 2009,6023.222 Length: 15 centimetres (pendant with danglers) Width: 15.5 centimetres (pendant) Weight 125 gram incl necklace. Silver necklace with a flat triangular pendant (muthallith), stamped with circles and a central tear-drop motif and elements of the design are picked out with gold leaf decoration. Eight hoops are soldered to the base of the triangle from which 14 danglers in the shape of oblong crescents hang from chains. These types of oblong crescents are sometimes identified as stylised 'Hands of Fatima'. The danglers are held together with a cord. This type of triangular necklace has been associated with the city of Bahla in northern Oman