HvWO 117II

Antique Omani silver (primer) powder box. To fill the tiny powder-pan of the matchlock

Talahic powderbox

Silver gun powder-box Taliq. Rare sun powder is put in from the top and is released at the bottom when the lever on the side of the main body is pulled. 

This powder box was used to put powder in the powder-pan (very small bowl) at the end of the barrel next to a tiny hole going inwards to the powder and the bullet. The powder in the pan is lighted by the fuse and subsequently the gun fires. The weights is 300 grams and  21 cm in size.

When the musket was no longer used (around 1880) boys would wear it as an amulet on their back.  Ref 2 Stuhlmann 1910 page 127 also refers to the filigree silver work on the khanjars, curved silver powder horns and silver tubes in bandoleers  that used were widely used in the past by the irregular soldiers of the Sultan.

Omani antique silver powderbox

Antique Omani silver gunpowder box (primer)


Arab name:Talahiq / Taliq; (gunpowder in Arabic and Persian is Barut)

Period: 1750-1880

Origin: Oman (according to Sir Donald Hawley ref 7 says that the "crescent shaped powder horns" a feature are of Sur and the Sharqiya areas (not sure if this is true)

  1. The only print showing a soldier wearing a Talahiq primer is found in Guillain Voyage a la cote orientale d´Afrique execute pendant les annees 1846, 1847, 1848. Sous le commandement  de M. Guillain capitage de fregate. Publie par ordre du gouvernement.
  2. Stuhlmann  Handwerk und industry in Ostafrika Friederichsen & Co Hamburg 1910 p127 footnote
  3. Robert Elgood. The Arms and armour of Arabia page 47. Craft heritage of Oman Fig 4.10
  4. Neil Richardson & Maria Dorr Volume 2 page 456 illustration. 126 & 127
  5. Jehan S Rajab Silver Jewelery of Oman p 47
  6. A tribute to Oman 18th National day "Gun lore: The story of the Abu Fatiylah" Robert Richmond. Apex Ruwi page 92
  7. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p 98,99 fig 93 
  8. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 135
  9. Oman and its Renaissance by Sir Donald Hawley in page 136 (bottom) and 145
  10. Max von Oppenheim in his book vom Mittelmeer zum Perzischen Golf band II page 327 "Nebenbei pflegt man noch ein kleines Horn mit pulver fur dass schloss zu fuhren, wendet auch statt des Steinschlosses haufig noch Lunten zum Zunden an
  11. The Heritage of Oman by Peter Vine Immel Publishing 1995 page 89 photo of an identical gun powderbox.
  12. British Museum has similar item in their on-line collection number 2009, 6023.193 length 18 cm Width: 5 centimetres (widest part) dated as 1950's but this is incorrect (much older)