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Old 7th October 2022, 05:25 AM   #1
TVV
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Default Omani Shamshir

It took me a while to acquire one, but I was finally able to with the help of a friend, to whom I am very grateful. I can finally claim that I have collected all the major types of Omani/Zanzibari swords. The nimchas fascinate me the most, but shamshirs seem to have been reserved for some of the highest ranking members of society in Oman, Zanzibar and the Comoros, such as royals and grand viziers.
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Old 7th October 2022, 10:33 AM   #2
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Congratulations !
Marvellous collection !!
Glad if you share some pictures of the others...
( nimcha or old straight model )
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Old 7th October 2022, 04:24 PM   #3
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Excellent photography, Theo. It went to a good home. Also would love to see more of your Omani collection!
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Old 7th October 2022, 05:44 PM   #4
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I am glad you like my little grouping. I will post a thread on the nimchas where I will go over them in more detail. The kattara and the straight saifs I have posted on this forum before, sometimes with unintended consequences resulting in very long threads with some controversy.

Back on the subject of Omani shamshirs, here is a side by side comparison with a typical Persian hilt to show some of the differences:
- Some minor crossguard differences;
- The twisted wire wrap with the characteristic knot;
- The Persian pommel cap is cylindrical, short and generally not decorated, while the Omani pommel cap is conical, slightly longer and often decorated - the 6-petal flower motif is found on all kinds of Omani sword fittings.

Regards,
Teo
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Old 7th October 2022, 06:19 PM   #5
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Lovely collection. I have one of the straight bladed nimcha / saif, and it's one of my favorite swords to hold. I'd also love to find myself one of those "battle swords" some day.

Are the knot on the grip and this type of blade specific to Oman? I've seen at least one of those before but it was listed as Russian and it had a more typical Persian looking shamshir blade IIRC.
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Old 10th October 2022, 10:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by werecow View Post
Are the knot on the grip and this type of blade specific to Oman? I've seen at least one of those before but it was listed as Russian and it had a more typical Persian looking shamshir blade IIRC.
The knot in my experience is characteristic of Oman and the Omani sphere of influence, spanning along the Eastern African coastline down to the Comoros. However, every example has to be evaluated based on the entirety of its dress, also taking in consideration the pommel cap and the scabbard fittings.
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Old 11th October 2022, 07:15 PM   #7
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Hi TVV, This is a sword I bought 17 years ago on oriental-arms, where it was described as "most probably from the Arabian peninsula and one of the execution sword style". Then, I also read somewhere that when the pommel of the hilt is only "slightly" curved, the sword is from the south of the Arabian Peninsula and when it is sharply curved, it is from the north - but I'm not sure. So - is it FOR SURE it is comming from Oman, or from its sphere of influence?
I'm attaching old photos (I didn't take new ones).
Martin
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Old 11th October 2022, 07:30 PM   #8
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May I get your thoughts on mine to. I particularly curious about the age. I just got mine last weekend. Thank you
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Old 11th October 2022, 08:18 PM   #9
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Martin, everything on your beautiful sword suggests an Oman/East Africa coast origin (these were also quite popular in the Comoros based on surviving photos). Thank you for sharing the detailed pictures.

ASPaulding, congratulations on your classic Persian shamshir with a wootz blade. I do not have the expertise to tell you whether this is an 18th or 19th century blade, but it is undoubtedly a nice antique sword.

Teo
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Old 31st October 2022, 04:39 AM   #10
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Teodor,
Marvelous collection!
I have only one comment: if you include Zanzibari swords because Zanzibar was governed by Oman, you may still need to add a Baluch shamshir for completion.
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...uchistan+sword
Baluchistan belonged to Oman for a long time and was sold to Pakistan only in the 1950s.
I remember we had a long and detailed discussion about Baluch shamshirs, but I could not find it and had to show just mine.
Persian blade, "Indian" pommel with classical Baluch ring and silver wire wrapping of the upper languet ( regretfully, no Omani knot).
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Old 31st October 2022, 08:48 PM   #11
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Thank you Ariel. My interest is in African Islamic Arms, and so my emphasis is on Zanzibar and the Comoros, with Omani weapons included based on the huge Omani influence in this part of the world at the time. There were Baluchi warriors in East Africa, who probably brought their weapons with them, but the hard question is always where does one draw the line trying to stay within a specific collecting theme.
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Old 1st November 2022, 12:28 PM   #12
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Indeed the connection to Baluchi made swords is quite strong. I've come across at least 4 of Omani shamshirs with obvious Baluch editions. The same can be seen with Baluch daggers which were in use in Oman and thus, had Omani editions. I tried uploading photos directly to the forum with pieces that can show case the similarities and editions but it did not work.

Will email them to Teo.
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Old 4th November 2022, 06:00 PM   #13
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Here are the pictures I received from Lotfi of some really nice and interesting Omani (and 1 Baluchi) shamshirs with outside influences. I will let him make his comments on them.
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Old 4th November 2022, 06:56 PM   #14
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Thanks Teo,

Those two examples are interesting to me due to their unusual features such as the lockets which borrow from other styles. The first borrows from Arab swords usually found further north and one is closer to the usual baluch example.

Note that the sword photographed next to the baluch example has poorly made editions and its pommel was likely identical to the typical Omani examples.
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Old 4th November 2022, 06:56 PM   #15
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Fabulous swords!
Agree 100% with your attribution.
I am not surprised by both Omani knot and "akrab" on the first one. After all, Oman is in South Arabia.
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Old 4th November 2022, 07:03 PM   #16
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Baluch pommels do intrigue me. They are curved down, distinct from both Arabian, Persian and Indian shamshirs.
I look at them and a " camel head" comes to mind. And the ring is at the same place as a " dulla". Did they just modify Indian pommels?
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