Enquiry about object: 4028
Pair of Omani Silver Ear Ornaments
Bedouin People, Oman 19th-early 20th century
length: approximately 12.6cm, width: approximately 4.2cm, combined weight: 106g
private collection, UK.
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This pair of ear ornaments is of high-grade, solid silver. They would have been worn near the ears having the appearance of large earrings with out actually being suspended from the ear. Instead they would have been suspended from a silver chain that ran across the head and under a hair covering.
The form is of a double cone with a triangular lower finial of plump silver berries held together by three ribbed bands. Beneath this is a triangular form comprising silver granulation work, a form that is commonly described as being based on the mulberry.
The mid-section of each ear ornament is decorated with a row of silver spikes – an allusion to the thorns commonly encountered in the Omani desert.
The allusion to berries and leaves in this pair of ear ornaments is suggestive of fertility, prosperity and abundance – appropriate allusions for Bedouin women to wear.
See Rajab (2004) and Geoffrey-Schneiter & Crick (2016) for related pairs.
Geoffrey-Schneiter, B., & M. Crick, Bijoux D’Orients Lointains: Au Fil de L’Or au Fil de L’Eau, Foundation Baur, Musee des Artes D’Extreme-Orient/5 Continents,
Rajab, J.S., Silver Jewellery of Oman, Tareq Rajab Museum, 1998.