6687

Enquiry about object: 6687

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Yemeni Silver Upper Arm Bracelet (Damlaj)

Mahwit Province, Yemen
early 20th century

external width: 13.1cm, internal width at widest point: 6.3cm, weight: 451g

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Provenance

UK art market

This highly sculptural bracelet intended to be worn on the upper arm is in perfect condition without losses or repairs. Called a damlaj, such a bracelet was worn by women in Yemen’s Mahwit Province (Ransom, 2012) and also by the Rashida women. It is of high-grade silver.

Silverwork from Yemen shows various influences, including from Yemeni Jewish silversmiths, who like Jewish silversmiths across the Middle East excelled at silver filigree work, and also from the west coast of India, which has strong migratory and trading links with the Middle East.

This striking bracelet to be worn on the upper arm is of silver sheet with applied silver borders of small spiky cones and bands of applied silver filigree. It has a section surmounted by three prominent rows of three large, applied silver spheres. It is likely that impetus for the spiky aspect of the bracelet comes from the thorns on bushes found across Yemen.

It is in excellent condition – there are no losses.

Similar examples are illustrated in Ransom (2014),  Nadler (2005, p. 88) and Seiwert (2009, p. 123).

References

Nadler, D. & S., Silver: From Fetish to Fashion, PDN Publishing, 2005.

Ransom, M., ‘The enduring craft of Yemeni silver’, Saudi Aramco World, January/February 2012.

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

Seiwert, W.D., Jewellery from the Orient: Treasures from the Bir Collection, Arnoldsche Art Publishers, 2009.

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