Sheath of a Thuma

1139-1161 AH/AD 1775-1809

The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum

The sheath is entirely decorated at its drop-shaped tip with spirals, rosettes, and rhombic appliqués. The upper part displays arabesque leaves and tendrils and the buckle as well as lower tip is decorated with rhombic and rosette-shaped appliqués. The back of the upper part is blank. Thuma daggers were produced only for the Zaydi Muslim elite. They were very precious, and kept in families for generations.

On the back of the sheath is an Arabic stamp with the name of the ruler and a date: al-Mansur 115x. The stamp belongs to Imam al-Mansur al-Husayn, who lived from AH 1139 to 1161 (AD 1775-1809).

An engraved inscription in Hebrew names the silversmith: H(arun) Kasil. It is possible that H(arun) Kasil was the same Kasil who lived also under al-Mahdi al-"Abbas, see Walters 57.2319.

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  • Title: Sheath of a Thuma
  • Creator: H Kasil (Yemeni, active ca. 1775-1809)
  • Date Created: 1139-1161 AH/AD 1775-1809
  • External Link: For more information about this and thousands of other works of art in the Walters Art Museum collection, please visit art.thewalters.org
  • Roles: Silversmith: H Kasil (Yemeni, active ca. 1775-1809)
  • Reign: Al-Mansur al-Husayn (1139-1161 AH/AD 1775-1809)
  • Provenance: Mr. Derek Content and Mr. Benjamin Zucker [Zucker Family Trust] London and New York, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 2010, by gift.
  • Object Type: daggers; sheaths (cases)
  • Medium: silver with remains of gilding
  • Inscriptions: [Stamp] In Arabic: al-Mansur 115x; [Engraved] In Hebrew: H(arun) (?) Kasil
  • Geography: Place of Origin: TaΓÇÿizz
  • Exhibitions: Diadem and Dagger: Jewish Artisans of Yemen. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2012-2013.
  • Dimensions: L: 9 7/16 x W: 2 3/4 in. (24 x 7 cm)
  • Culture: Zaydi Muslim
  • Credit Line: Joint gift to the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, by Mr. Derek Content and Mr. Benjamin Zucker in honor of Mrs. Amanda Content and Mrs. Barbara Zucker, 2010
  • Classification: Arms & Armor
  • Accession Number: 51.1449

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