Silver Amulet Case Necklace with Silver & Coral-Pink Glass Beads (‘Aqd Marjan)
Rayma or Haraz, Yemen
19th-early 20th century
length (approx): 90cm, weight: 280g
This fine and colourful necklace comprises a silver alloy talismanic amulet box with multiple pendant bells, multiple strands of coral-pink glass beads interspersed with small metal beads, large, hollow silver beads and various other silver alloy beads.
Ransom (2014, p. 98) says of a similar necklace that such necklaces were given to women throughout the northern mountains of Yemen after they had given birth for the first time.
The talisman cases in necklaces such as these either contained written, Koranic talismans, or served themselves as amulets.
The necklace shows clear signs of age. The amulet box, which is of tubular form with rounded ends and is decorated with bands of twisted silver wire. The amulet box has some minor denting on one side, some of the silver beads also are dented and have other minor damage but this is all to be expected and is commensurate with age and wear. The two spherical silver beads closest to either side of the red cotton ‘clasp’ do not match but are contemporary with the necklace.
The necklace is strung on red cotton cord. It is stable and wearable.
Ben-Ami, A. (ed.), In All Their Finery: Jewels from the Jewish World, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2002.
Silver Treasures from the Land of Sheba: Regional Yemeni Jewelry, AUC Press, 2014.
private collection, UK.
Inventory no.: 3968