Silver Ear Pick (Kuk Mawca)
length: 7cm, weight: 15.3g
This delightful utilitarian object is a solid silver ear pick or scoop from Ethiopia. They were also used to clean tobacco pipes. Of tapering form, it is decorated on all sides with applied filigree spiral motifs. There is a loop for suspension at one end and the pick at the other.
The items has superb wear and patina and clear age. It is in excellent condition, and could be worn as a decorative pendant. Indeed, when used in Ethiopia, they were worn as pendants.
See Seiwert (2009, p. 109), Ginzberg (2000, p. 254) and Biasio (2004, p, 223).
Biasio, E., Majesty and Magnificence at the Court of Menelik: Alfred Ilg’s Ethiopia around 1900, Verlag Nueue Zurcher Zeitung, 2004.
African Forms, Skira, 2000.
Jewellery from the Orient: Treasures from the Bir Collection, Arnoldsche Art Publishers, 2009.
private collection, London.
Inventory no.: 4210
A related Yemen necklace on display in the Islamic Art Museum Malaysia.
(Photographed February 2017.)