Superb Silver Cuff Bracelet with Applied Filigree
length: 10.6cm, diameter at widest point: 6.5cm, weight: 231g
This single cuff bracelet is in the form of a long silver tube, open down one side to allow it to be slipped on and off the wrist. Such bracelets are relatively common but tis example is unusual for the sheer quality of the silverwork employed to produce it. It is one of the finest examples we have seen, and possibly was produced by the silversmiths in Addis Ababa that serviced the royal court.
The exterior surface is decorated with five distinct bands of applied silver filigree and granulation work. These are bordered by rows of applied twisted silver wire and other decorative elements.
The bracelet tapers slightly to match the tapering of the wrist.
A silver haircomb with similar applied filigree work is illustrated in Biasio (2004, p. 151). That item, now in the Staatliches Museum fur Volkerkunde Munich is attributed to the court jewellery centre in Addis Ababa.
The bracelet is of high-grade, solid silver. It has a fine patina and is in excellent, wearable condition.
Biasio, E., Majesty and Magnificence at the Court of Menelik: Alfred Ilg’s Ethiopia around 1900, Verlag Nueue Zurcher Zeitung, 2004.Provenance:
UK art market
Inventory no.: 2802