Adornment and identity
jewellery and costume from Oman

21 January – 18 September 2011

Exhibition closed

Room 2

BP logo
Supported by BP

Ministry of Tourism of the Sultanate of Oman logo
In association with the Ministry of Tourism
of the Sultanate of Oman

A unique display features a selection of 20th-century silver jewellery, weaponry and male and female dress from Oman.

The display includes bracelets, anklets, necklaces, earrings, hair ornaments, kohl pots, and men’s accessories. The jewellery is decorated with coins, coral and glass beads, and gold leaf decoration, with many amuletic pieces incorporating elaborate Qur’an cases. Also featured are colourful embroidered costumes, including children’s outfits, from different regions of Oman.

The Sultanate of Oman is a country with a history that stretches back to the third millennium BC. This display celebrates Oman’s more recent heritage, focusing on objects of personal adornment and dress from the 1950s to the present day. Many of the objects were acquired recently by the British Museum.

Oman is the third largest country of the Arabian Peninsula, with its capital at Muscat. The country’s landscape ranges from sand and rock deserts to mountain ranges and lush valleys. It has an extensive coastline that overlooks three main expanses of water.

Oman is renowned for its fragrant frankincense, dates, and magnificent sailing vessels, called dhows. Throughout its history, this seafaring nation of traders has linked the Middle East with Europe, East Africa, Iran, the Indian subcontinent and beyond.

His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said is the current ruler of Oman. Over the past 40 years of his leadership, Oman has witnessed unprecedented growth in its educational, social and economic development. Oman maintains an enviable balance between modernity and its historic cultural heritage.

Silver samt necklace

Silver samt necklace with Maria Theresa Thaler pendants on indigo-dyed cotton, Oman, 20th century.

Pair of silver Baluchi anklets

Pair of silver Baluchi anklets, Oman, about 1950.


An introduction to the display