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    Oman Silver Headdress with Ear Ornaments

    Bedouin People, Oman
    early 20th century

    length (when stretched and straightened): 64cm, weight: 226g



    UK art market

    This silver headdress set includes silver bands that fit over the head, and two ear ornaments, all in high-grade, solid silver. The ear ornaments are unusual in that they have a wire cage form, rather than being of solid silver sheet.

    Such ear ornaments were worn near the ears having the appearance of large earrings without actually being suspended from the ear. Instead they were suspended from the silver band or chain that ran across the head and under a hair covering.

    The form of the ear ornaments 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 decorated with silver granulation work, decoration that is said to be based on the mulberry.

    The mid-section of each ear ornament is decorated with a row of silver spheres.

    The allusion to berries and leaves in this pair of ear ornaments is suggestive of fertility, prosperity and abundance – appropriate motifs for Bedouin women to wear.

    The set is in excellent condition.


    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.

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