HvWO 017

Antique Omani glazed jar / martaban probably from Bahla

Antique Omani glazed pottery

Very interesting heavy Jar. Chocolate brown and black glazing (a flashlight photo makes the chocolate-brown look more reddish) . Flat bottom (some hatch markings with a knife in the bottom)

This is much harder and heavier pottery than the previous examples. Inside very rough.  The clay is coloured greyish. The bottom is flat with a sort of crossbar incision made with a knife. 

Height 26 cm. Can be much older than indicated. Lot of similarities to the giant Martaban storage vessels outside the Omani museum in Ruwi (see added photo in slide-show) and a smaller jar in Nakhl fort.

Note the description by Dutchman Padtbrugge in 1672 about the technique of red glazing he mentions. It could very well match the glazing on this particular jar!!

antique Omani pottery

Antique Omani Pottery

Antique Omani Pottery


Antique Omani Pottery

Name: Antique "Omani Martaban" style  pottery

Period: 1500-1700 These Martaban jars can even be older: The famous Arab traveller, Ibn Batuta, who visited Lower Myanmar in 1350 C.E. wrote: "The Princess made me a present consisting of … four huge Martaban jars filled with pepper, citron and mango, all prepared with salt, as for a sea-voyage."  

Origin: This type of "martaban" pottery was produced in South East Asia (e.g. Myanmar, Vietnam and China) for centuries,  however almost identical pottery was produced in Bahla also over many centuries!  Purchased in the Nizwa souq (Nizwa is located close to Bahla) . Early 1980´s

  1. No reference exists of Omani pottery of the last 4 centuries
  2.  Sarah Posey Yemeni pottery British Museum (focus on "modern"pottery) 
  3. Islamic Art in Oman" chapter 9 Islamic Pottery in Oman by Seth Priestman (describes pottery of much earlier periods) 
  4. Below old photos of very large pots with similar glazing outside the old national museum in Ruwi (replaced by the new museum) and two photos of an egg-shaped pot exhibited in Nakhal fort again with similar glazing.

Photo of big jar in front of the old Ruwi Museum in Oman  (photo taken 30 years ago) . This pot has identical glazing and  same colours as ours, but this does not show well on the photo.

Very rare antique big jar with a very unusual oval shape, photographed in Nakhal Fort, same glazing as ours. Again made of greyish clay.

Antique big jar in oval form shape (seen from the top) photographed in Nakhal Fort, same glazing as ours

 Youtube film about the deserted village Hugarah in Oman: