A single Omani silver "Zanzibar Antal Anklet " (Very large, heavy, old and rare Omani jewelry)

Antique Oman Omani silver Anklet

Very rare antique single large and heavy "Zanzibar anklet" came to Europe  from East Africa before  the first World-war but most probably was made in Oman. 

A very large (very heavy) silver anklet made in Jaalan or maybe Zanzibar. Weight over 700 gram for a single anklet (!). Consequently a single anklet of this type weighs as much as a pair of normal size antal!

 There are some possible stamps markings inside that could indicate the silversmith. The inside is rounded and the outside has a rounded decorated "panel"  This flattish side was worn on the inside towards the other leg.The anklet is opened half way the panel and fastened with a large silver pin .

antique Omani silver anklet

Antique Omani silver anklet

possible silver mark?

Arab names: Natal / Mutal /  Antal (Carter)/ Hijil / Menagiri

Period: 1850-1916
Origin:  maybe Zanzibar / most likely Oman ( In the Catalog of the Oman exhibition in the Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam 2009 it is suggested that these large size anklets may have been made in India and exported to Oman and Zanzibar (no proof given)) This is also very unlikely as the designs of these very large anklets (in most cases) are the same as for the common antal. Ref 5 by Athman page 14 fig 2 on Swahili  woodcarving designs shows identical designs as on our anklet!  Stuhlmann in "Handwerk und industrie in Ostafrika 1910" (ref 3) mentions that fine silver-work (e.g. filigree) found in Zanzibar was in fact made in Oman and that only a small amount of silver was fabricated in Zanzibar itself.
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 116-120
  2. Richardson & Dorr The craft and Heritage of Oman vol 2 page 447 item 076
  3. Stuhlmann handwerk und industrie in Ostafrika Friederichsen & Co Hamburg 1910 page 130 abbildung 73 antal anklet
  4. A tribute to Oman National day Volume X "Muscat and its custom houses" Robert Richmond. Apex page 80
  5. British Museum (Harold Ingrams collection) museum number 2012,6030.2 Similar weight and same design / similar decoration purchased in Zanzibar 1920´s see on-line collection BM weight 748 grams, height 7.8 cm, width 13 cm. Heavy silver hinged anklet (mutal or natal) hollow and tubular body with a wide rectangular front section. Appears to be filled with black pitch or resin, significantly increasing its weight. Entirely decorated with intricate chased and punched designs including hatched lines, circles, and floral, vegetal and geometric motifs. The anklet is designed to open from the front and its clasp is locked with a solid silver pin that is decorated with chased lines on its head. These types of anklets were worn in paired sets usually by girls and women of central and northern Oman and Zanzibar.
  6. Athman H. Athman STYLES OF SWAHILI CARVING, AAP 47 (1996) 11-29