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    Pair of Palestinian Woman’s Silver Bracelets (Saba’ Wiyat or Sleitat Fadda)

    Palestinian People, Sinai (Egypt), Hebron (Palestine)
    circa 1900

    width across: 4cm, internal diameter: 5.8-6.2cm (adjustable), combined weight: 162g



    UK art market

    This superb pair of high-grade silver C-form bracelets was worn by the Palestinian women of the Sinai and Hebron in the south Palestine region.

    The two have particularly pronounced detailing plus they are a true pair, rarely is this type of bracelet seen in true pairs now.

    Each is chased and repoussed with three hemispherical protuberances around which there is leafy repousse work. Each of these is a stylised turtle motif with the protuberance being the stylised shell of the turtle. These are separated by tree motifs. Turtle motifs are uncommon in the Islamic world but had a talismanic or protective aspect among Palestinian women, probably on account of the animal’s hard shell,

    The two have pronounced Egyptian assay marks and tugra marks associated with the Ottoman empire (to which Egypt still nominally belonged at the time of these bracelets’ manufacture.) Full sets of marks are stamped onto the smooth triangular sections of each end and on the body of each bracelet (six sets in all).

    A related example of a single bracelet is illustrated in van Roode (2017, p. 131), and another is illustrated in Fahmy (2007, p. 110.)

    The two bracelets are in excellent, wearable condition and are among the best examples of this type that we have seen, published or otherwise.


    Fahmy, A., Enchanted Jewelry of Egypt: The Traditional Art and Craft, The American University in Cairo Press, 2007.

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

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