Ethnic Jewels

An appreciation of ethnic jewellery and adornment

Ethiopian telsums, 18kt gold copies of antique silver pcs.

A necklace of golden telsums made in 1995 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. copied form antique silver telsums.

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Comment by ingrid Langerak on February 10, 2016 at 23:38

Hi Thelma, They are very rare to see these in gold, I have ever seen one set by a previous generation, the mother of my friend, but she as well as me had them copied by a jeweler in Addis Ababa.  My late mother in law had seen it once in the beginning of the previous century ( around 1920 she had seen it with one lady who owned her own business, so also made with her own funds and not as the engagement purpose.  Just the love of the telsums and if you have the funds to have them copied in gold.  Gr. Ingrid.

Comment by ingrid Langerak on February 10, 2016 at 23:32

Dear Alaa Edinne Segid thank you for your   observation.  Did you see the post I just placed living up to my promise to you to find more of the etging work as performed on the anklets of the bridal set of the Highlanders of EThiopia.  I will place one more photo where there is another beautiful work done on a sword point cover.  Gr. Ingrid.

Comment by ingrid Langerak on February 10, 2016 at 23:25

Thank you Thelma. I appreciate your views on my pieces.  Warm gr. Ingrid,

Comment by ingrid Langerak on February 9, 2016 at 18:15

Dear Charlotte Dakin-Norris. and @ Betty .This necklace of golden telsum doesn't have the beauty yet as the antique silver ones, because they are still dead, the wear is missing.  I have never worn it.  Must start to do so even if it is only at home.  Now about their work system, your way of practical thinking make sense if the jeweler would make only these items. But they are engagements charms, and not items which were ordered  on large scale.  Also there would be several jewelers in each provincial little town were people from around had a choice where to go to. They had time and rather conservative in their traditional way of working.  Also when you observe each telsum (even the two from Betty) they are not identical twins in decoration or shape ,all slightly differ in their shape. I am now talking about the original pieces and not the ones made for tourisme starting in about 1985 done in nickel. 

I didn.t quite realize that  one of your background experience is Silversmith. Great.  Gr. Ingrid.

Comment by Charlotte Dakin-Norris on February 9, 2016 at 10:32

Dear Ingrid, these are exquisite, and somehow have a different character to their silver cousins! Your goldsmith is highly skilled; working with filigrain and granulation is very labour intensive, fiddly and straining on the eyes! It also requires much patience so I can understand why he was reluctant to do it! You are very fortunate to have seen the master making these beauties.

With regards to my question about how a particular pair of telsums in Betty's collection were manufactured...I asked because they look very different to most telsums, which I have no doubt are made using the technique you mention. But with those two, I just wondered (with my silversmithing hat on) making a panel up of complex rows of decoration and then cutting up sections of it to be mounted, would be a slightly less labour intensive way of doing it. At least...that is how I would do it...if I had the skills!

Comment by Thelma on February 9, 2016 at 9:56

Dear Ingrid, a glorious piece. Fit for a queen, as Eva says.

Comment by Alaa eddine SAGID on February 8, 2016 at 21:54

He has done a good work. Sometimes artisans who aknowledge their limits are the most skilled!

Comment by ingrid Langerak on February 5, 2016 at 21:13

@ Betty and @ Charlotte Dakin I am placing these telsums, because of the question whether the pieces are made by cutting pieces out of a panel. which is not the case, each pieces is individually made, i saw these being made, because I ordered them at a very skilled Tigrai silversmith who wasn.t willing to make them (even though the price of labor on gold was 4 time as much,) because of the  intensive and time taking process.  I had given him my old silver pieces to copy and a lot of persuasion of my husband.

Comment by Betty on February 5, 2016 at 20:41

Dazzling, indeed! I recently saw the silver version of the smaller half-moon telsum with the tear-shaped addition. The smith did a fantastic job!

Comment by Eva Baby on February 5, 2016 at 20:23

this is absolutely gorgeous!   Although I love silver, the golden edition is even more fantastic!  I guess this is from the north or Eritrean style ?  Queen-style!



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