3966

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Large Silver Bead & Amber Necklace with Amulet Box (Hirz)

San'a, Yemen
early 20th century

total length (circumference as worn): 96cm, total weight: 381g

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This wearable necklace of eight amber beads shaped as cubes (these test as genuine amber); six large, hollow silver beads; and an amulet box (hirz) with a filigree pendant medallion, is from the San’a region of Yemen.

The amulet box does not appear to open but would have contained some protective Koranic verses.

The amber and large silver beads are all separated by smaller silver beads.

The large beads are all decorated with fine wire ribbing and applied spangles. They have remnants of gilding (gold-plating) and some have applied silver plaques with the mark of the maker.

The necklace has obvious age, a fine patina, and the expected minor imperfections that come from age and wear.

References

Daalder, T., Ethnic Jewellery and Adornment: Australia, Oceania, Asia, Africa, Ethnic Art Press/Macmillan, 2009.

Ransom, M., Silver Treasures from the Land of Sheba: Regional Yemeni Jewelry, AUC Press, 2014.

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