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This superb and rare pair of anklets is of heavy silver, that has been parcel-gilded, enamelled in green, light blue and yellow, and set with foil-backed red glass or stone cabochons in high box settings.
The anklets are further embellished with dramatic, gilded scallop-like flourishes and applied star motifs, all in high relief.
They are hinged and are closed with a pin attached by means of a silver chain.
They are oblong in shape and were worn resting on the top of the foot, with the long dimension of each anklet worn along the top of the foot.
Such anklets usually were worn by brides. This example is such that they would have been afforded only by a wealthy Berber family.
This type of anklet is very rare – few have been published and very few are known in public and private collections. Rabate & Goldenberg (1999, p. 52) illustrate a related pair. Eudel (1906) also illustrates an example.
The pair is in excellent condition, particularly given their age. They have early 20th century French assay marks for foreign-made silver. There is wear to the glass ‘stones’, and so on, and the gilding has a lovely softness from age. The silver has a lovely ‘buttery’ softness on account of its relative purity, age and wear. Overall, these are fine, rare examples, worthy of a museum collection.
Eudel, P., Dictionnaire des Bijoux de l’Afrique du Nord: Maroc, Algerie, Tunisie, Tripolitaine, Ernest Leroux, Paris, 1906.
Rabate, M., & A. Goldenberg, Bijoux du Maroc, Edisud, 1999.