4934

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Omani Silver Amulet Box (Hirz) & Necklace with Applied Gold Plaques

Oman
circa 1900

total hanging length: 45cm, approximate length of chain: 60cm, length of amulet box: 9.2cm, weight: 330g

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Provenance

UK art market

This necklace and amulet box is made of silver, and from the Bedouin people of Oman. The box itself, which is known as a hirz, is further decorated by applied gold plaques. This use of gold plaques suggests it might be from Nizwa in Oman.

The amulet box opens on one side, allowing slips of paper inscribed with protective Koran verses to be slipped inside.

Nine pairs of silver dangles are suspended on thick silver chains from the box.

The necklace itself comprises a high-quality and robust triple silver chain.

Related examples are illustrated in Geoffroy-Schneiter (2011, p. 36), Hoek (2004, p. 54), Borel (1994, p. 119), Rajab (1998, p. 41) and Hawley (2000, p. 41).

The example here is in excellent condition and is stable and wearable.

References

Borel, F., The Splendour of Ethnic Jewelry: From the Colette and Jean-Pierre Ghysels Collection, Thames & Hudson, 1994.
Geoffroy-Schneiter, B., Asian Jewellery: Ethnic Rings, Bracelets, Necklaces, Earrings, Belts, Head Ornaments, Skira, 2011.
Hawley, R., Silver: The Traditional Art of Oman, Stacey International, 2000.
Hoek, C., et al, Ethnic Jewellery: From Africa, Asia and Pacific Islands, Pepin Press, 2004.
Rajab, J.S., Silver Jewellery of Oman, Tareq Rajab Museum, 1998.

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