Damascus: Locksmiths

Date: c.1890-1906

Arabic: ghālātī or qalīfātī

This artisan was responsible for making locks, padlocks, and keys. His income was also supplemented by mending locks and producing iron tools. The craft was closely related to that of the blacksmith. See also: Blacksmith (ḥaddād); Maker of needles (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), p. 326 (chapter 245).

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. 276.