Pair of Silver Upper Arm Bracelets (Damlaj)
diameter: 18cm each (approx.), combined weight: 1218g
Silverwork from Yemen shows various influences, including from Yemeni Jewish silversmiths, who like Jewish silversmiths across the Middle East excelled at silver filigree work, and also from the west coast of India, which has strong migratory and trading links with the Middle East.
This striking pair of heavy bracelets to be worn on the upper arms are of hollow-cast silver with applied silver borders of small spiky cones and bands of applied silver filigree. Each has a section surmounted by three prominent rows of three large, applied silver spheres.
This type of upper arm bracelet is called a
damlaj and was worn by women in Yemen’s Mahwit Province (Rawson, 2012).
The pair has clear signs of age and excellent patina from wear. It is unusual now to come across a true pair. Musee Guimet in Paris has on display a similar example – but only one and not a pair.
Ransom, M., ‘The enduring craft of Yemeni silver’, Saudi Aramco World, January/February 2012.
UK private collection
Inventory no.: 1709