HvWO 197

Omani Ivory gunpowder chargers / cases with silver mounts in a leather container similar to a bandoleer / bandoleer

Omani powderbox

Extremely Rare. Never seen another complete example of this Omani object. Nine silver mounted ivory gunpowder chargers  in a leather container. The silver caps are connected with silver chains to the leather container. 24,5 cm wide.  Please note that this object was possibly not part of a belt, so it is NOT really a  bandoleer! The leather container with the ivory chargers was possibly  stored in in a horse or camel bag.

The dot in circle and lines engraved in the ivory has been filled with red and back lacquer or pigment. The geometric decoration of dot in circle and lines is identical to that found on other gun related items in Oman see e.g. The brass tubes connected to the Abu Fatillah gun, the pliers to cast bullets and a soapstone moult for casting bullets.  In particular the design of circles with dot with a central double horizontal line through it is remarkable, we find exactly the same pattern on one of the wooden Omani gunpowder chargers, see the slide-show!

The embossed flower leaf decoration of the silver shields on the leather is very similar to:

  1. The caps on the silver powder boxes (Primer, Talahiq),
  2. Silver caps on Coffeepots (Dallah),
  3. Some early silver toe-pins  on wooden sandals
  4. Silver shield on a split-pin to secure a khanjar to the belt.

The forum on ethnic arms and armor (Vikingsword) contains a photo from a shop in a souq in Oman with a very similar item, see last photo in the slide-show. I have occasionally seen bits and pieces of similar items in the souq of Oman 30 years ago.

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 used in the past by the irregular soldiers of the Sultan. This confirms that also bandoleers with silver tubes with silver filigree decoration exist, but I have never seen one yet. However, I remember seeing a bandoleer with silver chargers at the Bait al Zubair museum, but that was of Yemeni origin.

Antique Omani gunpowder chargers


 The bottom photo is not part of this collection, but it shows another Omani bandoleer

 between Omani silver, in a shop-window

Name: "Antique Omani bandoleer"

Period: 1750-1850

Origin: Oman / Zanzibar. Was part of an old German collection together with a collection of fine rare early Omani khanjars.

  1. George Cameron Stone A glossary of the construction, decoration and use of arms and armour in all countries in all times Jack Brussel publisher New York 1934 republished 1961 p 92-93 example bandoleer from Zanzibar.
  2. Stuhlmann handwerk und industrie in Ostafrika Friederichsen& Co Hamburg 1910 page 127 footnote.
  3. For very similar Omani examples see the Vikingsword forum see the threads ethnographic weapons powder-boxes from Oman and ethnographic Miscellanea Souks of Oman.
  4. Max von Oppenheim in his book vom Mittelmeer zum Perzischen Golf band II page 326-327