Over the last six months or so I have noticed a number of eBay auctions of beautiful Yemeni silver jewelry in traditional styles, which I think may actually be new production. I personally am deeply…Continue
A few people have asked me how I test silver content and so I will share what I do. I want to start with a few caveats.
First, you can harm a piece of silver with testing. You are going to use a strong acid! So practice first and be sure you really want or need to know the approximate silver content.
Second, I WELCOME CORRECTIONS and additions. I am just a curious amateur. Most silver testing instructions recommend scratching or filing a piece which I…Continue
I wanted to share a few tips for removing old silver paste polish, which appears as a white dried-on residue. Here is an example from my Burmese Shan cuff.
This white residue is often rock-hard and quite impenetrable even to a good soaking and brushing. To remove it, you need a little chemistry. The white color here is calcium carbonate, an ingredient of…Continue
Marjorie Ransom writes that the vast majority of available Yemeni jewelry was made in the 20th century, and that the prominent styles of Bedihi and Bawsani did not develop until early in the 20th century. She says that she will have the 19th century pieces in her next book which focuses on the silversmiths that made the jewelry. She also at once point writes that much 19th century silver in Yemen was a 50/50 silver/metal mix.
I found a museum exhibit which has 18th and 19th…Continue
Recently I have seen two of these buckles - one on eBay, and one at a live auction. These are pictures taken from eBay.
Arguments in favor of eastern attribution: the combination of filigree and stones, the glass stones are set using a technique that appears in some Balkan work, and this particular buckle is described as not testing for high grade silver which puts me in mind of Ottoman ~40% silver.
In favor of western attribution: the stones have a table…Continue