5282

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Fine Pair of Omani Silver Bracelets (Benagir bu Shoka)

Oman
early 20th century

internal diameter: 6cm, external diameter: 7cm, thickness: 3.4cm, combined weight: 181g

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Provenance

UK art market

This fine, matching pair of bracelets in high-grade silver are from Oman, and once were worn by women all over the country.

Each comprises a central band of protuberances surrounded by fine borders of repeated silver circle plaques within plaited silver borders.

One theory is that rather than being overtly aggressive, the spiky protuberances were intended to signify breasts and so tended to be worn by married women.

The pair here are in excellent condition and are very wearable.

Similar examples are illustrated in Hawley (2000, p. 60) and Hoek (2004, p. 60).

References

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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