Omani Matchlock accessories (gunpowder-pan, trigger, fuse, tubes, cock, protecting animal skins) and the process the fire a matchlock

Omani Matchlock Fuse and Tube
  • Description

 

The fuse / taper is made of a cord of palm fibre which has been finely plated and then wound round with cotton thread. The cotton thread keeps the taper smouldering for a long time.

 

 Antique Omani Marchlock

 Antique Omani Matchlock

On the photos in the slide-show we see:

  • The fuse is wound around the gun stock and fuse tubes and the end fixed with a brass clam  (that is fixed to the tubes)
  • The two connected fuse-tubes a) A tube with holes to keep the fuse smouldering b) One closed to put out the fire
  • The fuse is lighted with a fire-striker.
  • The tiny powder-pan is connected to the barrel (see the first photo in th slide-show) and is filled with powder using the small powder box (talahiq).
  • The filled powder-pan is subsequently sealed with a copper sliding cover also connected to the barrel.
  • On the top of the gun we see the "forked" cock  (or hammer) in which the fuse is placed when preparing to fire.
  • When you press the trigger (has abstract shape of a lion) on the bottom right the burning fuse is moved towards the small powder-pan and when ignited fire moves through a tiny hole (touch-hole) to the center of the barrel (with the powder and the bullet)  and the gun is fired!

Antique Omani matchlock

Arab names of different gun parts and tools:
  1. Fatiyalah (taper / fuse)
  2. Minkahr (forked cock   or hammer positioned close to the end of the barrel)
  3. Zinad / mharque (trigger)
  4. Hough (gun powder-pan attached to the barrel) 
  5. Powder-pan cover to keep pan dry and prevent the touch-hole in the barrel from getting clogged)
  6. M´taf (brass fuse tube to put the taper / fuse in)
  7. Malbaque (brass tube with air holes to keep fuse smoldering)
  8. Hashum (animal skin to protect the wooden stock from getting burnt when firing)
  9. Qoush (thick piece of animal skin at the end of the stock to protect the shoulder from the shock wave when the gun is fired) 

Period: People stopped using these guns around the 1880´s.

Origin: Omani

References:
  1. 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. Robert Elgood. The Arms and armour of Arabia page 37-45 (story of the barrel stamps page 44 bottom right). Page 40 fig 4.5 shows also the tubes with the match wound around it.
  3. 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.
  4. A tribute to Oman 18th National day "Gun lore: The story of the Abu Fatiylah" Robert Richmond. Apex Ruwi page 89-93
  5.  Max von Oppenheim in his book vom Mittelmeer zum Perzischen Golf band II page