Enquiry about object: 5660

Your First Name (required)

Your Last Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Country (required)

Your Message

Pair of Engraved Solid Silver Libyan Ear Ornaments

Bedouin People, Libya
circa 1880

heights: 8cm, combined weight: 300g



UK art market

This impressive pair of heavy, solid silver ear ornaments or temporals to be worn on each side of the head, suspended from a headdress, is from the Bedouin people, of Libya.

The are made of solid, cast silver. They have been engraved with floral and geometric motifs. They terminate with what appears to be a loop catch but in fact these are too thick and stiff to close; the closing ‘mechanism’ is decorative only.

The interiors of each are stamped deeply with a range of marks and pseudo-marks including an Ottoman tugra, and silver assay marks with Arabic but based on French marks which were used in Libya between 1859 and 1926. There is also an ‘L’ stamp which is the mark of a hitherto unidentified master silversmith but which suggests the maker was accredited to a guild and so was recognised as being a superior craftsman.

A similar pair is illustrated in van Roode (2017, p. 129).

The pair here are in excellent condition.


van Roode, S., Desert Silver: Understanding Traditional Jewellery from the Middle East and North Africa, BLKVLD, 2017.

Dozens of items are added to our website each month. Be among the first to know about them.
Sign up to our monthly catalogue