Lot 234
  • 234

A fine silver and silver-gilt mounted Indo-Arab matchlock gun, probably Oman, late 18th/19th century

Estimate
20,000 - 30,000 GBP
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Description

  • wood, mother of pearl, silver and gilt
  • 146cm.
with part octagonal Turkish 'Damascus' twist sighted barrel with two openwork silver and silver-gilt barrel bands, two sling swivels, the forward one with hanging ornaments including a mother-of-pearl hand pendant, fine filigree muzzle band around iron serpentine, fitted on right side with additional iron arm for match, long engraved silver trigger-plate beneath and engraved silver muzzle sheath, wood stock decorated with silver and silver-gilt motifs, set into swollen wooden butt cap inlaid with geometric mother-of-pearl design, silver-tipped wooden ramrod

Catalogue Note

This silver and silver-gilt-overlaid Indo-Arab matchlock gun from the Arabian Peninsula features both Indian and Ottoman designs constructed with a Spanish-type barrel. 
As Elgood notes, Omani barrels often came from India and Persia and were quite diffused in the Nejd country, the Hejaz and Yemen. The matchlock was not comfortable to use and the kick from coarse powder could easily damage the shoulder, to prevent this, a semi-circular cover for the butt was added (Elgood 1994, p.46). Our example is finely is decorated with mother-of-pearl design. Similar pieces (but less finely decorated) are now in the Tareq Rajab Museum, Kuwait (Elgood 1995, p.181).
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