Doors of Oman / Zanzibar and Ivory tusks (Four antique postcards)

Slide-show: Oman Zanzibar doors and Ivory tusks

It should be noted that ancient "Zanzibar Doors" used to be found very frequently in old Omani houses and forts. See e.g. the article in Tribute to Oman 1994 "inside the walls" that discusses Muscat. The traditional large Omani ships (dhows) included many beautiful wood carvings similar / identical to that found on "Zanzibar" doors, hence these doors are as much part of Oman as Zanzibar.


Unfortunately many doors in Oman and Muscat in particular have disappeared into thin air over the past four decades. Magnificent examples of these types of doors that disappeared are the doors of the old souq in Nizwa and those of the old Palace in Muscat. The fort of Al Hazm still has magnificent carved doors, if they are still there and not replaced by poor fake new ones.Similar fine woodcarving is also found on the best and genuine antique  so called “Malabar style" Omani wedding chests (Mandus). See our "Wood" section

Antique photo ivory tusks zanzibar


Ivory and Omani doors

Four postcards with Zanzibari / Omani carved doors. Two of the postcards also show large Ivory Tusks.

  • "The two large ivory Tusks showing in the background Zanzibar door" This coloured card was published by Gomes & Sons between 1905 and 1907 Evans (ref 1) page 38 and the front-cover!
  • "Arab carved door Zanzibar" Copyright A.C. Gomes & son Zanzibar. . published between 1920 and 1930. Evans (ref 1) page 59 (375006)
  • "A carved Arab door and two Record Tusks British East Africa" Issued by The standard P & P works Nairobi and Mombasa. Not in Evans
  • "An old Arab carved door Zanzibar" Copyright A.C. Gomes & Son Zanzibar. Evans (ref 1) page 59 (375015) Published between 1920 and 1930.
  1. The early postcards of Zanzibar 2005 by P.C. Evans East Africa study circle page 38 (and on the front cover of the book)
  2. "Doors of Zanzibar"  Photographs by Uwe Rau Text by Mwalim shows many more doors
  3.  Tribute to Oman 1994 "in side the walls" Robert Richmond and Rachael Marskell p 91-97  

Below you find a Yutube film with many old pictures of Zanzibar: