5660

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Pair of Engraved Solid Silver Libyan Ear Ornaments

Bedouin People, Libya
circa 1880

Available - Enquire

Provenance

UK art market

This impressive pair of heavy, solid silver ear ornaments or temporals to be worn on each side of the head, suspended from a headdress, is from the Bedouin people, of Libya.

The are made of solid, cast silver. They have been engraved with floral and geometric motifs. They terminate with what appears to be a lopp catch but in fact these are too thick and stiff to close; the closing ‘mechanism’ is decorative only.

The interiors of each are stamped deeply with a range of marks and pseudo-marks including an Ottoman tugra, and silver assay marks with Arabic but based on French marks which were used in Libya between 1859 and 1926. There is also an ‘L’ stamp which is the mark of a hitherto unidentified master silversmith but which suggests the maker was accredited to a guild and so was recognised as being a superior craftsman.

A similar pair is illustrated in van Roode (2017, p.

References

van Roode, S., Desert Silver: Understanding Traditional Jewellery from the Middle East and North Africa, BLKVLD, 2017.

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