Antique Omani silver (primer) gunpowder box. To fill the tiny powder-pan of the matchlock

Antique Omani silver powder box named Taliq
  • Description

Rare silver gun powder-box Taliq with fine filigree and crude gold on-lays (soldered on)  The gold-onlay contains stamped inscriptions in a script unknown to me (Indian script?), see the slide-show for details. The gold-onlays also have fine (stamped) floral decorations. Gun powder is put in from the top and is released at the bottom when the lever on the side of the main body is pulled. Maybe the crude on-lays were added later?

This powder box was used to put powder in the powder-pan (very small bowl) at the end of the barrel next to a tiny hole going inwards to the powder and the bullet. The powder in the pan is lighted by the fuse and subsequently the gun fires. The weights is ...  grams and ... cm in size.

When the musket was no longer used (around 1880) boys would wear it as an amulet on their back.  Ref 2 Stuhlmann 1910 page 127 also refers to the filigree silver work on the khanjars, curved silver powder horns and silver tubes (in bandoleers) that used were used in the past by the irregular soldiers of the Sultan.

 

Antique omani gunpowder box

Arab name:Talahiq / Taliq; (gunpowder in Arabic and Persian is Barut)

Period: 1800-1880

Origin: Oman (according to Sir Donald Hawley in Oman and its Renaissance page 136 (bottom) he claims that the "crescent shaped powder horns" a feature are of Sur and the Sharqiya areas (not sure if this is true)

References:
  1. The only print showing a soldier wearing a Talahiq primer is found in 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. Robert Elgood. The Arms and armour of Arabia page 47 fig 4.10
  3. Craft heritage of Oman Neil Richardson & Maria Dorr Volume 2 page 456 illustration. 126 & 127
  4. Jehan S Rajab Silver Jewelery of Oman p 47
  5. A tribute to Oman 18th National day "Gun lore: The story of the Abu Fatiylah" Robert Richmond. Apex Ruwi page 92
  6. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster pages 98,99 fig 93
  7. Silver the traditional Art of Oman  2000 (new edition) Ruth Hawley p 15. 
  8. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 135
  9. Oman Faces and places, articles from PDO News magazine 2009 p142
  10. Max von Oppenheim in his book vom Mittelmeer zum Perzischen Golf band II page 327 "Nebenbei pflegt man noch ein kleines Horn mit pulver fur dass schloss zu fuhren, wendet auch statt des Steinschlosses haufig noch Lunten zum Zunden an"
  11. British Museum has similar item in their on-line collection number 2009, 6023.193 length 18 cm Width: 5 centimetres (widest part) dated as 1950's but this is incorrect (much older)