x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

34. Set of silver tweezers from Fujairah. Early 20th century

To mark the nation's 40th anniversary, we feature 40 historic objects.

In 1891, the Swiss Army knife was introduced as a multi-purpose tool. Fujairah, however, was already producing its own version.

This silver tool was probably made on the east coast sometime in the early to middle decades of the last century although the design is likely much older.

Two pairs of tweezers, one with blunt ends and the other pointed, fit neatly into a container that could hang from the belt of the tribesman who owned it.

The tweezers could be used to pull out foreign objects from both humans and livestock; the sharp pair could probe and the blunt ends pull out a splinter of wood or thorn.

This example comes from the collection of Dr Ahmed Khoori of Abu Dhabi, who has a number of similar tools that were acquired in the northern Emirates.

The shape of the container resembles a bullet, and this is a result of both design and functionality. The bullet shape is inspired by the .303 cartridge used in the Martini-Henry rifle, introduced into the region by the British armed forces in the 1870s but widely used among the desert tribes for nearly a century.