5292

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Unusually Long Yemeni Woven Silver Wire Waist Belt

northern Hadramaut, Yemen
early 20th century

length: 235cm (2.35 metres or 7.7 feet), weight: 867g

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Provenance

UK art market

Long belts of woven silver wire such as this example were made by the women of northern Hadramaut in Yemen.  The local women excelled at making these loop-in-loop chain belts. They were designed to wrap around the body several times, with the greater the number of times such a belt went around the body, then the more ostentatious and wealthy must have been its owner.

The example here is unusually long at almost 2.5 metres or more than seven-and-a-half feet long.

Both ends are secured with high-grade silver finials. Both are fixed with loops and one has a hook so that the two ends can be linked together.

See Ransom (1024, p. 190) for a similar example, though at 140cm in length it is considerably shorter than the example here.

The example here is in excellent condition. It is an interesting curio, and possibly could be worn as a particularly long and dramatic necklace draped several times around the neck.

References

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

 

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