Ethnic Jewels

An appreciation of ethnic jewellery and adornment

I bought this necklace from a couple online, and they were selling some of the pieces the man's late wife had owned. She was English, and collected so many neat things, a wide array of types, ages and styles. The couple thought this necklace was from India and although I've spent hours looking around, I can't find anything that is really close. I was thinking it had some Middle Eastern characteristic. Anyhow, I would absolutely love to hear what others think - thank you!

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Hi Ann

While I am not an expert in the origins of filigree jewellery, I have a lot of experience hand fabricating filigree. 

The filigree in this necklace has characteristics that I have not seen before, but also has elements that are typical of filigree from China, India and the Middle east.  When I have a bit more time I will pull some references that I have and see if I can possibly narrow it down a bit more

Hi Milt - thank you so much! Any help is greatly appreciated. This really has me stumped. The dangles and closure are very India to me, but the crescent seems out of place and I really haven't seen any filigree attributed to any regions of India. The filigree and crescent seem more Middle East tome. Again, thanks for your help!

This is an impressive piece!  I have never seen a necklace like this, but if I were to take a wild guess, I would say “India”.

Ann

I spent some time looking through my references, but unfortunately I could not narrow it down. 

The diamond shaped chips and the balls hanging around the perimeter are common on jewellery from Yemen , but the filigree itself does not look like Yemenite filigree that I am familiar with. 

Sorry but that is the best I can do.

Also, any chance you could email me a high resolution photo.  I am really curious to get a better look at the filigree itself. I have tried downloading the photos from the website, but all I can get are low res versions.



Ann said:

Hi Milt - thank you so much! Any help is greatly appreciated. This really has me stumped. The dangles and closure are very India to me, but the crescent seems out of place and I really haven't seen any filigree attributed to any regions of India. The filigree and crescent seem more Middle East tome. Again, thanks for your help!

Another thought is perhaps Turkey?  The filigree is sometimes found in Turkish jewelry, and the closure is consistent with examples of mesh-filigree bracelets.

Hi Edith! That's what I thought when I first saw this - India, but the filigree really threw me along with the crescent. Turkey really seems like a good direction to look in. Thank you so much!

Hi Milt - I'd be happy to send you the photos. I am going to try to see if I can do that through the site, but if I can't, I'll let you know. And thanks again for your help, both of you. I really appreciate it. This one is driving me crazy!

Well, not to muddy the waters, but India may still be a possibility.   Uttar Pradesh has a large Muslim population, and the star and crescent does appear in the jewelry.  Here is a head ornament from that region.

Edith, what you say makes more sense than mud! The design itself aside from the filigree and crescent is so Indian. It could be one of those odd crossover pieces where a silversmith from maybe Turkey as you say moved to that region and made a hybrid. That was actually a great way to think about it! Thank you so much Edith for taking the time out to post your ideas.

:-)

This reminds me of the Odisha / Odissi silver filigree work.

Oh wow Zambezi! I just took a look online and there are some really magnificent pieces. I think you are right. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know!

Mystery solved!

Thank you so much too Edith - it's been fun to look at your marvels and I appreciate your help. (And you were right!) Thanks!

Edith D said:

Mystery solved!

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