Omani antique Kattara sword dating from the 16th or 17th century

Omani Kattara sword over three hundred years old
  • Description

Very rare complete antique Omani broad sword in black leather with with silver fittings. See Elgood. Size including scabbard 156 cm.  The scabbard (the sheath holding the blade) with 2 very old heavy silver fittings and matching rings. The thick silver rings are very old (almost worn through)

This type of sword could very well be the half-broadsword described by Padtbrugge in 1672 when he visits Muscat. "the blade is broad and straight with a round end, and has the shape of a broad-sword. It is rather heavy and not flexible" See ref 4.  It is extremely rare to find this type of sword with it s scabbard.

In the Al Ain museum there is an example of this type of sword were the hilt has been decorated in silver, but not sure if this is original (given the limited wear) See end of the slide-show for a  photo of that sword.

These swords very often have Portuguese / European  blades and date from the 17th century when the Omani were fighting the Portuguese.

Antique Omani sword

 

Antique Omani sword

Arab Name: Kattara

Period: 16th - 17th century.

Origin: The blade is possibly Portuguese ( there seems to be a vague stamp with a human figure)

 References:
  1. Robert Elgood. The Arms and Armour of Arabia  page 17/18 fig 2.13 and fig 2.15.
  2. A Tribute to Oman volume VIII p 100 (The cutting edge) by Robert Richmond Mazoon printing Contains a photo of this type of sword with a dated Portuguese blade form the 17th century.
  3. Zanzibar the Island metropolis of eastern Africa by F.B. Pearce 1920 p 229 Discussion on types of Omani swords.
  4. Nederlanders aan de Kusten van Oman 1991  By Slot published by Museon p 12- 14.
  5. Zanzibar Its History and its people 1930 by W.H. Ingrams
  6. Travels in Arabia by Wellsted 1838
  7. British Museum poor example in the on-line collection number As1985,18.12 and wrongly described (it is not a dance sword and not from the 20 th century) Purchased in Oman 1985  length 83 cm width 9 cm
  8. Islamic Art in Oman page 324  Pimped up example.
  9. Bonhams   Omani broadsword Scabbard missing, poor condition.Auction 20802 lot 414;   Another example was sold 28 November 2012, lot 103; 2 other examples have been sold at Christie's
  10. The National Museum of Oman Highlights published by Scala Arts & Heritage publishers in  2016 page 17 shows a similar sword, but all the silver ornaments have been added quite recently.