A particularly noteworthy aspect of this pair of fibulas used to attach cloaks across a Moroccan Berber woman’s shoulders is the wear they have – they have been much used, and most probably were passed down several generation from mother to daughter.
They have been made from flat sheets of high-grade silver. Triangular in shape, they have a pointy piece of long silver at the top which functions as a pin, an eyelet just above these through which circular wire holders would have been threaded, and an eyelet at the other end through which a chain can be looped. They are pierced, engraved and have applied, cast and chased decoration applied. At the centre of each, is a conical finial.
There are traces of enamel inlay. The back of one has an old repair in the form of an applied silver strip to strengthen the piece and this too adds to the charm because it also has much wear and patina.
Probably the pair originated in the Souss or Anti Atlas Mountain region.
Related pairs are illustrated in van der Star (2004, p. 27), Prolongeau-Wade (2008, p. 173) and Splendeurs du Maroc (1998, p. 255).
Mourad, K., et al, Arts et Traditions du Maroc, ACR Edition, 1998.
Prolongeau-Wade, S., Voyage au Pays des Fibules, Regard, 2008.
Rabate, M & A. Goldenberg, Bijoux du Maroc, Edisud, 1999.
Splendeurs du Maroc, Musee Royal de l’Afrique Central, Belgium, 1998.
van der Star, R. et al, Ethnic Jewellery: From Africa, Asia and Pacific Islands, The Pepin Press, 2004.