Antique Omani Matchlock Abu Fathilah (Father of the match)

Omani Matchlock
  • Description

Very Rare Omani Musket with brass inlays Spanish Portuguese shape stamps on the barrel but with Arab / Persian text.

Dating based on the style stamps on the barrel. The stamps have been photographed in detail. 156 cm long. Note that there are some remains of very fine geometric engraving on the brass inlays that have worn off. The gun is complete with all its accessories! The book by Guillain contains probably the earliest picture of an Omani matchlock.

 

Antique Omani Matchlock

 Antique Omani matchlock inlaid with engraved brass or gold

Arab names: Abu Fathilah / Fatiyalah  ( Father of the match) / Gizail Mirkee (long barrel matchlock)

Period: Probably 17th century. People stopped using these guns before the 1880´s.

Origin: The barrel is probably 17th century from Persia, Ceylon (Shri Lanka) or Portugal. Several reports indicate that the Omani in the 17th and 18th century were unable to cast iron, so the barrels are probably "foreign"

References:
  1. Guillain Voyage a la cote orientale d´Afrique execute pendant les annees 1846, 1847, 1848. Sous le commandement  de M. Guillain capitage de fregate. Publie par ordre du gouvernement.
  2. Firearms of the Islamic world in the Tareq Rajab Museum Kuwait by Robert Elgood p 85-89
  3. Robert Elgood. The Arms and armour of Arabia page 37-45 (story of the barrel stamps page 44 bottom right)
  4. Elgood Firearms of the Islamic world page 85-89. Geary the editor of the Times of India visited Muscat in 1878 and mentions " Many had long old-fashioned guns, highly ornamented" Soon after this period the Martini Henry and other modern guns replaced the matchlock in the 1880´s
  5. J.L. Carter Tribes in Oman Peninsular publishing 1982 page 22
  6.  A tribute to Oman 18th National day "Gun lore: The story of the Abu Fatiylah" Robert Richmond. Apex Ruwi page 89
  7. Catalog of the Oman exhibition in the Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam 2009 page 147
  8. Islamic Art in Oman page 332 Poor example, poor description and wrong dating.
  9. Oman and its Renaissance  by Sir Donald Hawley Stacey International London 1987 page 143 photo with similar item