HvWO 004

Box with handpainted picture of the sailing ship (bark) Imaum of the harbor Salem in the USA

Box with picture of the sailing ship Imaum of the harbor Salem in the USA

Very rare wooden box (light wood) with a picture of the sailing-ship the Imaum of Salem. The ship was built in 1850. This ship belonged to the American trader named Benjamin A. West from Salem who  had a few ships transporting goods between Zanzibar and Salem. Said bin Sultan was Imaum of Oman and Sultan of Zanzibar, he died in 1856. The American ship is clearly named after him. There was an intense trade between the American harbour Salem and Oman / Zanzibar.    Large quantities of dates were exported from Oman to Salem (USA) during the early 19th century, so the trade was not just with Zanzibar.  Important piece for the History of Zanzibar and Salem. See slide-show for another  painting of the ship. Extremely rare memento of the ship and trade by the famous Mr Benjamin A. West (nicknamed "Zanzibar West") to Zanzibar and Muscat during the 19th century. Apparently the West family owned a oil painting with a similar painting of the ship Imaum. Size 12,5 by 10 cm. 

Name: Box with hand-painted picture of the American ship Imaum from of the US harbour Salem.

Period: Around 1850

Origin: unclear, maybe work by an American sailor on-board the ship or someone in Zanzibar??

  1. George Granville Putnam, Salem vessels and their voyages, The Essex institute 1924. Second of four volumes discusses the trade on Zanzibar including the  ships Imaum and the Taria Topan. Between pages 88 and 89 of Vol 2 is an illustration of the ship Imaum:

Bark Imaum


The ships  Imaum and the Taria Topan  were not just used for trips between Zanzibar and Salem but visited many different harbours. The Taria Topan is named after the Taria Topan  the tax collector of the Sultan of Zanzibar, see elsewhere in this website.