Damascus: Gunsmiths

Date: c.1890-1906

Arabic: bunduqjī

This was a thriving craft in Damascus in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, generating good profit for artisans. The gunsmiths made a variety of weapons, including pistols and rifles. See also: Swordsmith (suyūfī); Blacksmith (ḥaddād); Locksmith (ghālātī or qalīfātī).

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), p. 71 (chapter 32).

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. 275.