Enquiry about object: 5269

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Inscribed, Talismanic Silver Necklace

Afghanistan or Iran
circa 1900

approx. circumference of necklace: 90cm, length of main plaque: 11cm, overall weight: 153g



UK art market

This very unusual silver necklace most likely has come from rural areas of Afghanistan or Iran and would have been worn for protective, talismanic reasons. It would have been commissioned from a village practitioner of black magic.

It comprises a well-made silver chain or three-strands across; one large plaque and two smaller plaques all of scalloped triangular form; two large, hollow silver beads; and two, long, silver talismanic boxes made to hold Koranic scripture.

The plaques have been engraved crudely with magical, faux script. Probably the maker, along with his clients, was illiterate, so they have done their best to engrave the plaques with what they feel looks like Arabic script.

The main plaque is also crudely engraved with two male faces, two fish motifs and once central cross-hatched motif.

The necklace is unusual and very wearable. It is large but not too heavy. It has good patina and obvious age.


Pers. comms., Sarah Corbett, London

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