HvWO 157II

Brass Omani Baluchi container for Henna or Jewelry with a ring on top.

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Brass Omani Baluchi covered pot for Henna or Jewelry.

Scarce brass Omani  covered pot for Halva, Henna or Jewelry. Halva is a very popular sweet in Oman produced from dates. However not every one appreciates it......

In 1900 Zwemer (ref 3) writes "One of the chief industries in the bazaar of Muscat is Hilawi (Halwa) , which to the acquired taste is delicious, but to the stranger smells of rancid butter  and tastes like sweet wagon-grease" .  For centuries the main product of Oman was dates and a lot of them were exported. In 1900 most dates were exported to the USA (see Zwemer ref 3 page 82)

 

Antique Omani brass Henna pot

Antique Omani brass

Antique Omani brass container

Omani antique brass

antique Omani brass

Antique Omani brass container

antique Omani brass pot

Arab Name: Makabah

Period: 1800-1900

Origin: Oman Baluchi, Zanzibar East Africa

The use of medallions with abstract floral or animal designs in metal work may suggest that the design is originally derived from Persian metalwork. In Oman we used to find very fine antique brass containers and rosewater sprinklers with similar medallions containing floral designs but also funny cartoon like animals. Typically gazelles  and leopards and occasionally peacocks or elephants) However we also find brass containers  with just floral designs in the medallions

    References:
  1. Handwerk und industrie in Ost Afrika Hamburg 1910 by Franz Stuhlmann See also afb 75  p 131-132  Picture 75 contains a silver container with emblems containing flowers that was made in East Africa. The fact that abstract animals are used in the emblems on our plates may also suggest an origin outside Oman proper e.g. Zanzibar were Islamic rules were a bit more relaxed.
  2. Carter Tribes in Oman p112 on the chest
  3. Richardson & Dorr The craft and Heritage of Oman vol 2 page 458
  4. S.M. Zwemer Cradle of Islam 1900 page 81 & 82
  5. Oman & its Renaissance by Sir Donald Hawley also has a picture of such a Halwa pot on page 143
  6. Throw down the anchor The story of the Muttrah souq by Maxine Burden, centre for Omani dress, Muscat Media Group 2014 page 198-199 contains an article on Henna.