HvWO 012

Antique Omani cash box with silver bosses

Sideshow Antique Omani writing box with silver bosses

Rare type of Omani cash-box. Cash-box is the name given to Arab chests less than 60 cm long, fitted with an internal framework containing small individual compartments. Cash boxes are derived from western writing boxes. Sometimes they are also called pearl chests. Silver nails and lock-plate have been sued.  Larger Omani chests with silver studs do exist, but are exceptionally rare.

Summarizing: small writing or cash box with traditional Omani geometric designs:

  • Wood: Rosewood
  • Front: Geometric decoration probably burned into the wood (=pyro engraving) plus silver plate with floral designs around the lock hole.
  • Top: Same design as the front but without the silver plate but with a brass handle.
  • Silver studs on front and on the top
  • Brass hinges (without spikes)
  • Size 35 by 16,5 and 9 cm high

 For similar technique of burning geometrical pyro engraved designs into the wood see powder boxes/tubes HvWO 119.

antique Omani cash box

Antique Omani writingbox

 Antique Omani writing box

Name: Antique Omani cash box with silver studs and silver lock-plate.

Period: 1850-1900

Origin: Oman Zanzibar


  1. Sheila Unwin The arab chest Arabian publishing 2006 /2007 p 100-103 Cash-boxes
  2. Catalogue Oman exhibition Nieuwe kerk Amsterdam 2009 page 10,27, 54
  3. Athman H. Athman STYLES OF SWAHILI CARVING, AAP 47 (1996). 11-29