Enquiry about object: 5367

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Large Silver Yemeni Pendant (Kisra) set with Garnets

early 20th century

width: 15.5cm, height: 16.5cm, weight: 148g



UK art market

Pendants of this type known as a kisra are seldom seen. Traditionally, they were worn by married women and were worn not for festivals but for everyday use as protective of talismanic devices.

It has four prominent curved ‘horns’ and its surface is decorated with applied silver filigree and granulation work, as well as four flower-like bosses set with garnets around a central, more elaborate boss raised on ribbing and set with multiple garnets.

A related example is illustrated in Ransom (2014, p. 168).

The form is very similar to pendants, haircombs and other adornment items worn by Minangkabau women in Sumatra, Indonesia and by women elsewhere in Indonesia, suggesting possible influence that has come along trade and haj routes. In Indonesia, the form is believed to be based on the shape of buffalo horns.

Certainly, there have long been historic ties between Yemen and Southeast Asia and to this day, many Muslims in Java, Sumatra and the Malay peninsula have mixed ancestry which includes ancestral ties to the Hadramaut region of Yemen. Hadramis on java for example often were involved in textile trade.

The pendant here is in a robust condition with only minor losses (if any).


Ransom, M., Silver Treasures from the Land of Sheba: Regional Yemeni Jewelry, AUC Press, 2014.


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