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Old 26th June 2014, 05:17 PM   #1
blue lander
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Default My first Omani Khanjar

It's tarnished and disintegrating, but it was within my price range. After reading Ibrahiim's extensive khanjar thread, I believe this would be a Muscat style khanjar?
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Old 26th June 2014, 06:10 PM   #2
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Hi Blue Lander,
IMHO this is from the Al Ahsa region of Saudi Arabia. This area borders modern day Oman. The King Faisal Center in Riyadh identifies this style as being from there.
Omani khanjars do not usually have the diamond shaped decoration.
Here is an almost identical one I have.
Stu
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Old 26th June 2014, 06:39 PM   #3
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That is a dead ringer for mine. I guess it's Saudi rather than Omani.
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Old 26th June 2014, 09:24 PM   #4
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I am waiting for the other shoe to drop...

Hope that's not to obtuse?

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Old 26th June 2014, 10:07 PM   #5
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I take your comment to mean "this is a fake/tourist piece but I don't want to be the one who tells him"?
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Old 26th June 2014, 10:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiral
I am waiting for the other shoe to drop...

Hope that's not to obtuse?

Spiral


Please do not continue down this road.
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Old 26th June 2014, 10:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue lander
I take your comment to mean "this is a fake/tourist piece but I don't want to be the one who tells him"?


That is not what he means. His comment was not directed at you--disregard it.
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Old 26th June 2014, 10:51 PM   #8
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Whew! Okay. I would have been bummed to hear that. I'm a little concerned that the hilt seems to be crumbling apart. Almost like a synthetic material rather than horn.
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Old 27th June 2014, 05:46 AM   #9
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Default The heart of a dagger is the blade

And this is one of the best-shaped jambiya blades I have seen. The usual ones that look like a boomerang may be classic, but they don't seem functional like this one, perfectly curved and shaped for function. A beautiful blade! Everything else is dressing and thus for me secondary, although I very much appreciate decoration.
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Old 27th June 2014, 06:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue lander
Whew! Okay. I would have been bummed to hear that. I'm a little concerned that the hilt seems to be crumbling apart. Almost like a synthetic material rather than horn.

Hi again Blue Lander,
I don't quite know what to suggest to stabilise the hilt, and can't help with what it is made of. Perhaps if you can get the hilt straight, and the silver covering correctly placed, a careful injection of some sort of resin might just do the trick. Once the hilt is stable, the silver joints could be carefully soldered where they have come apart. Best I can suggest, but if left as is, it will easily suffer further damage I think.
Stu
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Old 27th June 2014, 12:17 PM   #11
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The "chequered" weaving of the silver wire between the bottom three rings is characteristic of jambiyas from the southern KSA and northern Yemen area.
Regards
Richard
See this discussion http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=18494
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Old 27th June 2014, 02:52 PM   #12
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The hilt looks more like the "Al Ahsa" khanjar, but the scabbard with the chequered wire looks more like the Asir style ones. I also wonder if the scabbard is really made out of silver, as it seems to have a greenish patina to it like copper or something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montino Bourbon
And this is one of the best-shaped jambiya blades I have seen. The usual ones that look like a boomerang may be classic, but they don't seem functional like this one, perfectly curved and shaped for function. A beautiful blade! Everything else is dressing and thus for me secondary, although I very much appreciate decoration.


I love the blade shape too, it's very lean and functional looking as you say.
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Old 27th June 2014, 02:53 PM   #13
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Default KSA WEAPON.

Nice thread...Not Omani but probably KSA. What we have here is a little bit of right in most peoples posts...There are two main areas in Saudia where Omani Khanjars have influenced design viz;

The Asir way down south where the dagger appears to be taken from The Sayidiyyah 7 ringer and the Al Hasa Oasis where the Muscat Khanjar appears to have been favoured .. The two are very similar though the first born was The Muscat Khanjar and for sure Sheherazad would have used that as the basis when she redesigned the Royal Sayadiyyah weapon for her husband the ruler...It should be remembered that The Royal Khanjar could be either a 4 or a 7 ringer. (and I have seen odd varieties with more rings)

I follow Stu's main thrust here and view his dagger as the Al Hasa mark. It should be noted however that the small silver rectangles (flat diamond shaped) are not the exclusive domain of KSA daggers. See the same details on an Oman Khanjar below.

Your input is excellent Richard G.. about the fancy woven method of decorating the lower scabbard in criss cross wiring..(see below on an Asir weapon..which also has little silver rectangles) I agree that this form of criss cross decor appears on KSA examples.

What transpires because of this is the question... Do Omani Khanjars have this criss cross wiring? It would be easy to say no because I haven't seen any...

What also needs to be included is the grainy picture of the Khanjar at Omani Silver by Ruth Hawley see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=14878 at #17 ..which appears to have the criss crossing style... Is this the illustrated weapon in Omani Silver a Muscat Khanjar? or from KSA ?... I have to say I am not now sure ...but I will find that out. It would be fairly amazing if we have a non Omani item in that publication...but I need to check it.

The loop decoration above the belt section UUUUUUU is the same on both weapons...and same as the weapon of Stu. The belt on the Ruth Hawley is not Omani! I think we have a problem Huston !! I will announce this immediately on The Omani Khanjar.

Blue Lander ~The filler material in the hilt appears to be degraded and crumbling..You may want to fill that with pitch.

What I often see on KSA weapons is a slightly more bulbous quba .. the toe or crown end of the scabbard.

For clues to where the diamond shape originates see below for Nizwa hirz boxes decorated in similar style...and an Omani Khanjar with that style of decoration and illustrated on "The Omani Khanjar" thread.

What is obvious is the copied in and frozen status of these weapons into the big trading areas of Asir (at the time part of Yemen) and Al Bahrein which as a huge region included Al Hasa Oasis... which I place firmly at the door of trade relations with Muscat. The access corridors for Al Hasa was by camel train from Buraimi and for both there and the Asir via(That weapon is called the Habbaabi from the key city of Abha) the shipping trade from Muscat etc.

Pictures below are mine or from the Richardson and Dorr Herritage volumes.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 27th June 2014 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 27th June 2014, 08:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue lander
The hilt looks more like the "Al Ahsa" khanjar, but the scabbard with the chequered wire looks more like the Asir style ones. I also wonder if the scabbard is really made out of silver, as it seems to have a greenish patina to it like copper or something.



I love the blade shape too, it's very lean and functional looking as you say.

Hard to comment on the scabbard material of your piece, but I can say that mine IS silver but also had that blue-ish oxidation on it when I first received it. Get an old toothbrush and some silver polish of some sort, and give it a good brushing.
I have to say that I had not noted the woven wire on your Jambiya. Mine does not have this feature. Always possible to have difference as often the scabbard was not made by the same person as the dagger itself (Refer Steve Gracie's book Daggers from the Ancient Souks of Yemen)
Stu
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Old 30th June 2014, 06:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Hard to comment on the scabbard material of your piece, but I can say that mine IS silver but also had that blue-ish oxidation on it when I first received it. Get an old toothbrush and some silver polish of some sort, and give it a good brushing.
I have to say that I had not noted the woven wire on your Jambiya. Mine does not have this feature. Always possible to have difference as often the scabbard was not made by the same person as the dagger itself (Refer Steve Gracie's book Daggers from the Ancient Souks of Yemen)
Stu



Pretty well any decent scrubbing brush will work and you can start witrh soapy water ... or use toothpaste...that works nicely.

It seems that by default we are working up the differences with the al Ahsa Oasis weapon compared to the Omani of which I promote the three main differences viz;

1. The UUUUU design under the cuff just above the belt line. (though I seem to find the same design in the Asir...checking)
2. The slightly oversized Quba or crown.
3. The greater upturn on the scabbard.

I cannot attribute the criss cross weave below the belt as that is more the domain of the Asir style nor the small diamond rectangles as that is frequently reflected in Omani work.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 30th June 2014, 07:17 PM   #16
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Thank you Mr. Ibrahiim for your comprehensive yet easily digestible context as always.

Does the somewhat atypical blade shape of my khanjar mean anything, either about age or it's regional origin?
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Old 1st July 2014, 03:05 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue lander
Thank you Mr. Ibrahiim for your comprehensive yet easily digestible context as always.

Does the somewhat atypical blade shape of my khanjar mean anything, either about age or it's regional origin?


Salaams Blue Lander, Excellent question! The shape of the blade?... thus in some ways the shape of the scabbard..though in itself that is a puzzle.

The blade is quite peculiar~ not only is it broad and flat and sharpened on both edges with a central ridge but it is curved. What I find more odd is its small tang and the use of pitch to secure the blade without pins. It is said that blades of this shape originated from a skinning weapon/ meat cutting blade. It makes sense to have a central strengthening ridge if the weapon is used in a strike or stabbing action so that the direction is maintained...and the point is reinforced by the central ridge.

I have not read a convincing support document yet on the odd shape of the scabbard which it is said could be linked to the shape of the bows of a dhow... or carries a hidden religious legend or could even be a further reference to the Rhino Horn...shape. I liked the latter potential link...but it is still one of those mysteries still pencilled into the margin.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 1st July 2014, 06:21 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Pretty well any decent scrubbing brush will work and you can start witrh soapy water ... or use toothpaste...that works nicely.

It seems that by default we are working up the differences with the al Ahsa Oasis weapon compared to the Omani of which I promote the three main differences viz;

1. The UUUUU design under the cuff just above the belt line. (though I seem to find the same design in the Asir...checking)
2. The slightly oversized Quba or crown.
3. The greater upturn on the scabbard.

I cannot attribute the criss cross weave below the belt as that is more the domain of the Asir style nor the small diamond rectangles as that is frequently reflected in Omani work.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.



Salaams All...

I can now confirm that the UUUUUU design just above the belt conforms also with dagger design in the Asir as below....where you can see one has broken off...six being often displayed. I also think the turned up scabbards in the Asir are equally dominant in form... and cannot be relied upon to determine one or the other.

I begin to adjust my view of the Al Ahsa dagger and consider more the hilt which seems to represent the bigger of the stylistic indicators... the studded decorated pommel top and the style of decoration to the Hilt face...as being typical in general of the Al Ahsa form.

It would appear that the Al Ahsa style is copied from the Muscat Khanjar and the Asir takes its design from the Saidiyyah item. The main differences stem from the differently applied and copied hilt decoration in each case.

A further indicator may be present on a number of daggers under revue which have a floral stamp on the reverse and are inscribed with the makers name...these appear on daggers that I suspect are from the flower men of Yemen in the Asir region whose daggers I am currently studying..Once completed I will report the findings here.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 7th July 2014, 07:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue lander
It's tarnished and disintegrating, but it was within my price range. After reading Ibrahiim's extensive khanjar thread, I believe this would be a Muscat style khanjar?


Salaams Blue Lander, Oh Bye the way...There is an excellent website at Omani silver dot com which is an information only ...and presumeably therefor a research site...that has some very good artefacts including swords and Khanjars...etc however I use the site as an example of how confusing the situation can be regarding what is and what is not an Omani Khanjar~

The weapons they show include part of a superb collection of Omani daggers put together by a German source and from East Africa ...and therein lies the problem...East Africa "encompassed" the regional area of Zanzibar and north to the Red Sea for trade etc...Consequently several of the daggers they show are not Omani but very similar... but with a curious flower stamp on the reverse...unknown to Omani style. The stamp originates with the flower tribe in what was the Asir...The other clue is the scabbards are inscribed on the reverse in typical regional style ...Occasionally Omani Khanjars had a makers or owners mark but rarely...whereas on Asir weapons it was common. The weapons have the typical bigger turn in the scabbard. Thus they are purebreds alright... but Yemeni pre 1921 Asir ... Now KSA. These are the daggers that Omani people call Habaabi. (Abha is the capital of that region and Abhaabi or Habaabi means ..."Of Abha") Naturally I have written several times to the authors but as yet without reply...and therefor place the pictures for more research...

Note the dagger has the usual UUUUUU design above the belt section and the bigger turn to the scabbard. The flower stamp is on the reverse. For flower tribe (second picture shows flower tribals) and complete pictorial proof see the following series of pictures;


http://www.flickr.com/photos/charlesfred/5512947198

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mytripsmypics/4336633417

http://www.flickr.com/photos/charlesfred/5780340287

http://www.flickr.com/photos/charlesfred/5780340299

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mytripsmypics/4318547823

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

* Pictures below from the non commercial site http://www.omanisilver.com
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Old 9th July 2014, 08:05 PM   #20
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This guy just arrived in the mail. I've given it a scrubbing with tooth paste and a tooth brush, I'll try to clean it a bit more.

Any idea what the loops on the back of the scabbard are for?
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Old 10th July 2014, 06:56 PM   #21
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Yes its how they attach such weapons as these to the belt. Your dagger is from the Asir... It looks old enough... perhaps before the region was encapsulated into KSA from the Yemen in about 1923...The floral decoration is likely to be flower tribe inspired. In Oman these are called Habaabi... from Abha the capital of that region...For this variant the Royal Omani Khanjar is in the frame...
Good luck with the cleanup...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 10th July 2014, 07:29 PM   #22
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I thought the rings on the side were for attaching to the belt, but it makes sense they're attached on the back as well.

I'm so excited to hear this khanjar might be approaching the 100 year mark. From reading your definitive khanjar thread I gather khanjars older than 50 or 60 years are not that common.

This floral tribe, is it the Zahran tribe?
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Old 11th July 2014, 07:45 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue lander
I thought the rings on the side were for attaching to the belt, but it makes sense they're attached on the back as well.

I'm so excited to hear this khanjar might be approaching the 100 year mark. From reading your definitive khanjar thread I gather khanjars older than 50 or 60 years are not that common.

This floral tribe, is it the Zahran tribe?

The Zahran Tribe inhabits the region in the north of the Asir Plateau. The tribe located nearest to Abha is the Bani Mughaid (source Flowered Men and the Green Slopes of Arabia by Thierry Mauger)

Don't get too excited about the age of your Jambiya. Suggest that you present the piece to someone who can appraise it first hand. Don't forget that something made in 1950s(relatively recently) is still 64 years old today.
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Old 12th July 2014, 05:51 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue lander
I thought the rings on the side were for attaching to the belt, but it makes sense they're attached on the back as well.

I'm so excited to hear this khanjar might be approaching the 100 year mark. From reading your definitive khanjar thread I gather khanjars older than 50 or 60 years are not that common.

This floral tribe, is it the Zahran tribe?



In mentioning the 1920 s as the date of KSA inclusion I hope I did not indicate 100 years old or near... They have been making them in the same region up until now... Looking at the wear I would be happy with 30 years or something like that and some severe damage to the hilt ...maybe it got squashed ... Nothing wrong with 30 years ...Its old enough... Once you have repaired the hilt it will be fine.
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Old 21st July 2014, 07:21 PM   #25
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I don't think I can repair the hilt. It looks like it was crushed or perhaps twisted apart. Rather than putting the hilt together and repairing it, they just filled the cracks with what appears to be bondo. So the hilt can't be twisted back into shape or sealed back up unless I were to drill out the bondo. I'll leave it as is for the time being, it feels sturdier than it looks.

On a lighter note, I let my two year old inspect the khanjar scabbard (without the blade of course). She looked it over carefully, poked at it a few times and declared it to be a horn. She then repeated "horn" about 100 times, which she does when she's particularly sure of herself. So in her expert opinion, the khanjar's shape is definitely supposed to be an animal horn.
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Old 22nd July 2014, 04:17 PM   #26
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Best way to clean is old toothbrush dipped in straight ammonia and a lot of elbow grease. Rinse out your brush afterwards and repeat process with warm water, dry it with old towel. Material inside the grip is borax, you can glue down the silver with dabs of epoxy. But don't get hot water near it.
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