Damascus: Blacksmiths

Date: c.1890-1906

Arabic: ḥaddād

The blacksmith worked at a forge, producing a wide range of tools, agricultural implements, stoves, cooking items, and locks. The work of this artisan was much in demand in the Syrian capital. Blacksmiths are described in the Dictionary of Damascene Crafts as a “special group” (qism makhṣūṣ), although the nature of this group is not specified. See also: Locksmith (ghālātī or qalīfātī); Needle maker (abbār or ibbār).

Citation: al-Qasimi, Muhammad Saʿid, Jamal al-Din al-Qasimi, and Khalil al-ʿAzm (al-Azem), Dictionnaire des métiers damascains, ed., Zafer al-Qasimi. (Le Monde d’Outre-Mer passé et présent, Deuxième série, Documents III, Paris and Le Haye: Mouton and Co., 1960), pp. 93-94 (chapter 58).

See also: Milwright, Marcus. “Metalworking in Damascus at the End of the Ottoman Period: An Analysis of the Qamus al-Sina‘at al-Shamiyya”, in: Venetia Porter and Mariam Rosser-Owen, eds, Metalwork and Material Culture in the Islamic World: Art, Crafts and Text. Essays presented to James W. Allan (London: I B Tauris, 2012), p. 273.