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Bedouin Face Veil (Burqua) Decorated with Beads & Silver

Bedouin People, Yemen
first half of the 20th century

25.4cm x 14.6cm



UK art market

This  face covering or burqua would have been worn by a Bedouin woman most probably in Yemen but also possibly in adjacent Oman.

It comprises a panel of woven fabric dyed black. The top is decorated with a row of  Yemeni silver beads of fine granulation work, and plain silver beads interspersed with coral-red glass beads. From this a row of pendant spangles and bells are suspended.

Each side of the burqua is weighted with a row of attached silver alloy disks most of which are set with a coral-red bead.

The end of each side terminates with two silver bells.

A cord at the top allow the burqua to be tied around the head.

The item is in very fine condition.


Rajab, J.S., Silver Jewellery of Oman, Tareq Rajab Museum, 1998.

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

Suleman, F., Textiles of the Middle East and Central Asia: The Fabric of Life, The British Museum, 2017.

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