7167

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    Rare Pair of Heavy, Solid-Silver Tuareg Bracelets

    Tuareg People, Niger
    early 20th century

    external width across: approximately 8.9cm, combined weight: 1,861g

    Reserved

    Provenance

    UK art market

    – scroll down to see further images –

    These two of bracelets (or possibly small anklets) are of solid silver and they are unbelievably heavy in the hand. As such, they functioned as portable stores of wealth.

    They are from Niger and were worn by Tuareg and related groups but show influence from Ghana and also Sudan, via the nomadic trade routes that stretch across Africa.

    They are a near pair, and almost certainly were intended to be worn as a pair: their proportions and construction are very similar.

    Few of this type have been published, and pairs are largely unknown.

    Each has a hinged construction and are closed with a heavy solid silver pin. each is engraved with bands or geometric motifs. The ends of each terminate with solid, bell-shape finials with flat ends that are engraved with matching star motifs.

    See a single example in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    The two here are in excellent condition. They are rare, very sculptural, and as mentioned, very heavy, to the point of being unwearable in a modern context.

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