Traditional small Antique Omani Khanjar with maker signature & floral symbol on the back

Antique Omani Khanjar
  • Description

 

Rare complete and  antique  small Omani or Saudi (boys) Khanjar with seven silver rings. Rhino grip. Silver filigree. Signature of silversmith on the back of the chape. Also a floral emblem / symbol  on the back, this could be linked to particular Omani tribe, but we are not sure. Old blade. 27 cm high. This is definitely an old khanjar, the edges of the silver decoration are heavily corroded.

Note that the filigree elements form a string of wire and are not tiny individual elements like in the older khanjars. Once the silversmith has positioned all these elements the entire  khanjar component  is heated and all the tiny elements are permanently fixed to the khanjar component. Therefore we can conclude that it is much easier to make this type of filigree.

Omani silver Khanjar

omani silver khanjar  

Antique Omani khanjar

Name:Antique Omani Khanjar with maker signature & floral symbol on the back: Omani Khanjar

Period: 1850-1900

Origin: Purchased in Nizwa Oman over 35 years ago;  This type was made around Ibri In Oman but also in Saudi and the Emirates.

Sir Donald Hawley describes and illustrates new (1970's) examples of this type of khanjar as Omani in his book Oman & its Renaissance (ref 6) The Omani weapons expert Robert Richmond (ref 4) describes this type as Omani.

The important and reliable book Tribes in Oman by JRL Carter  (ref 5) describes an almost identical  khanjar of this type on page 161 as Omani and names the silversmith as Sayf b. Hamad al Shaybaniy of Ibri. However he also says “In form it is typical of the  Dhahirah region of Oman  and shows strong affinities with the daggers produced in the area of the United Arab Emirates. Those more typical of Oman have handles made of ivory of giraffe horn (assume Rhino) and the scabbard of the Omani ones is of woven silver thread”  I believe mine have Rhino “handles”, identical  to the old Saidi khanjars in my collection. Giraffe is the Arab work for rhino.

 A 1991 Saudi exhibition catalogue of the King Faisal Center with the title Weapons of the Islamic world (ref 7) , describes on page 56 are again identical khanjars described as “Doojaniyan” daggers. The silver scabbards are set with fine silver beads , and the hilts are in rhinoceros horn. Al-ahsa (Saudi Arabia)” 

Antique Omani Khanjar

A reader of our website Abdullatif Ali Al Nakkas identified the signature on the back of the chape  as Abdul Majid al Dajani (Aldajani family had many workers) a famous Saudi Maker from al Hasa region whose work is legendary that the type is called Doujani, a variant of his name by many southern Saudis. 

A similar khanjar with the same signature on the back of the chape was sold in  Imperial Inc Auctions lot 410 march 21 2015. The floral emblem on the back of the handle  seems to be slightly different, the meaning of this floral emblem is unclear (maybe a tribal symbol) The signature on the khanjar in the auction is identical to the above one in our website. This auction identifies the signature on the khanjar as "Abd al Madalrajan??" and dates it to the second half of the 19th century. They identify the khanjar as Omani. See photos in our photo slideshow.

The Saidi khanjar was produced and worn in Oman, but was also worn by Omani Arabs in East Africa and even by Arabs in Madagascar. Similar it seems that the above khanjar was worn in Oman, the Emirates and part of Saudi Arabia. From Sir Donald Hawley we know for certain  that this type  was also produced in Ibri (Oman) in by silversmith Hamad al Shaybany well into the 20th century. However other locations of production incl Emirates are most likely.

References:
  1. Robert Elgood. The Arms and armor of Arabia See page 82 for an identical 19th century one. Also the boy on page 72
  2. Richardson & Dorr The craft and Heritage of Oman vol 1 222-233
  3. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 130
  4. Unsheating the Omani Khunjar by Rober Richmond in A Tribute to Oman Volume IX 20th National Day page 110-115
  5. JRL Carter Tribes in Oman
  6. Sir Donald Hawley, Oman and its renaissance
  7.  Saudi exhibition catalogue King Faisal Center: Weapons of the Islamic world 1991 describes on page 56 are again identical khanjars described as “Doojaniyan” daggers
  8. 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