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

Talahic powderbox
  • Description

Rare silver gun powder-box Taliq with fine gold inlays filigree. 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. 

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 weight are 185 grams. The size is 17 cm.

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 silver gunpowder box

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

Period: 1750-1880

Origin: Oman: Sir Donald Hawley ref 6  says the "crescent shaped powder horns" a feature are of Sur and the Sharqiya areas (not completely sure if this is true)

References
  1. The only print showing a soldier wearing a Talahiq primer is found in the book 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. Stuhlmann handwerk und industrie in Ostafrika Friederichsen & Co Hamburg 1910 page 127 See footnote.
  3. Robert Elgood. The Arms and armour of Arabia page 47 Fig 4.10
  4. Craft heritage of Oman Neil Richardson & Maria Dorr Volume 2 page 456 illustration. 126 & 127
  5. Jehan S Rajab Silver Jewelery of Oman p 47; 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 p98,99 fig 93
  7. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 135
  8. Oman and its Renaissance  by Sir Donald Hawley Stacey International London 1987 page 136 and 145  photo with similar item
  9. Ethnic Jewellery from Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands 2002 Amsterdam Pepin Press p 64
  10. 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)
  11. 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"