EGYPT | NUBIA

Intro Egypt Egypt’s rich cultural heritage is an integral part of its national identity, having endured, and at times assimilated, various foreign influences, including Greek, Persian, Roman, Arab, Ottoman, and European. Although Christianised in the 1st century it was subsequently Islamised in the 7th century.

Therefore it may not be surprising that Graeco-Roman, early Byzantine traditions remained a determining factor and from 1500 the Ottoman jewelry forms played a significant role in the development of Egyptian folk jewelry. Thus the designs of the ‘snake’ bangle (iswira thu’ban) as well as the prominent braid are of Graeco – Roman origin.

The jewelry industry was a guild system, each with its own distinct skills. For instance, Osta William Iryan and apprentices specialized in Zar ceremonial jewelry, while in the Siwa oasis we find the famous silversmith Mohamed El Mekkawy.

The head of the guild was the quality controller who made sure that the soldering, setting and polishing was well done. Some artists did stamp their work, but most did not, since their workmanship was widely acknowledged.

A law was issued in 1916, requiring all gold and silver ware to be officially hallmarked. Silver of 45 cd was no longer valid. As general hallmarks for silver, a number of symbols were adopted for each year in sequence: a lotus flower, a cat with and without a lifted tale. The symbol is followed by the name of the region of origin and the date of manufacture in Arabic.

Since the collection also covers Nubian, Bedouine and Zar ornaments, below some background info is given in brief.

Designs and shapes of nomadic and oasis jewelry have much in common but each area has its own characteristics based on custom and the way by which the jewelry was acquired. In ancient times these bracelets were habitually worn in pairs but since the mid 20tth century they are seldom found in complete pairs.

Nubia is a region along the Nile river, located in what is today northern Sudan and southern Egypt. It has a turbulent history that can be traced to at least 2000 B.C. Its name is derived from that of the Noba nomad people. For a time they came to be so powerful that, though contested they were the masters of Upper Egypt.
The collection also covers desert jewelry of the western oases: Bahariya, Dahkla, Fayoum and Siwa.

siwa_girls_compact  Siwa is considered to be a unique folkloric cultural phenomenon, represented in its ornaments, traditions, clothes and jewelry with distinctive flower/sun motifs and well-known circular disc designs. The other oases are inhabited by various Bedouin tribes and peasantry. They often have a resident silversmith and the jewelry is shaped according to the means available. The craftsmen apply techniques which are not complicated.

Ornaments are engraved and punch- stamped with astral and vegetal as well as fish motifs that are typical of Berber iconography and frequently seen among the Bedouin peoples of the North African coast.

 

ORNAMENTS ON SALE :  to view more pictures of the ornaments click my E-bay shop

1Pair of Bracelets Egypt, Fayoum oasis, sha”bi classes,peasants Lower + Upper Egy Classic solid pair with two silver small twisted wire bands separated by a large breaded one . At the external the national silver hallmark shows a ‘cat’, date early last century silver +800/1000. The solid silver bracelet ‘iswara’ is always worn in pairs ‘asawir’. In the last century still frequently seen throughout Egypt, but since some years rarely. These bracelets come in various sizes and weights. They vary significantly in quality of construction and appearance of the central twisted bands. The small bands are typically separated by a much thicker central part of braids, some with a pronounced one. The pair has not been polished to preserve patina. ∅ 6 cm H 2.8cm W 236g . Similar samples you’ll find on page 30 A World of Bracelets  Price € 600. ANTIQUE ETHNIC SILVER BRAID BRACELET PAIR EGYPT FAYOUM OASIS

3Egypt, Fayoum oasis, peasants Lower + Upper Egy This classic pair of five delicate parts with a very fine middle braid The bracelets pre-date the introduction of the national hallmarking system in 1916; silver test 800/1000 The solid silver bracelet ‘iswara’ is always worn in pairs ‘asawir’. In the last century still frequently seen throughout Egypt, but since some years rarely. These bracelets come in various sizes and weights. They vary significantly in quality of construction and appearance of the central twisted bands. The small bands are typically separated by a much thicker central part of braids, some with a pronounced one. The pair has not been polished to preserve patina  ∅ 5.3 cm H2.2 cm W146 g Similar samples you’ll find on page 30 AWorld of Bracelets Price € 400 ANTIQUE ETHNIC SILVER BRAID BRACELET PAIR EGYPT FAYOUM1asawir

4Pair of Bracelets Egypt Twisted and braided solid bracelets were found throughout the rural areas including oases and desert areas Usually worn in pairs The three part Egypt national silver hallmark engraved at the ends cannot be exactly deciphered as the ornaments have not been polished to preserve patina. Silver +800  ∅ 6 cm H1 cm W153 gSimilar sample p.30 A World of BraceletsPair of Bracelets Price € 260

5Pair of Bracelets Egypt Twisted and braided solid bracelets were found throughout the rural areas including oases and desert areas Usually worn in pairs . The three part Egypt national silver hallmark is little worn but shows +800, the other marks, such as place and year cannot be decoded as the pair has not been cleaned to preserve patina.  ∅ 6 cm H 1cm W 106g Similar sample p.30 AWorld of Bracelets Price € 200

5aPair of Bracelets Egypt, Dahla/Siwa oases Beautiful adornments engraved with fish motives facing each other. The style and the fish motif of these broad cuffs show the influence by the the Bedouin women of the North African coast. Usually worn in pairs and show both the Egypt national silver hallmarks +800 plus a lotus flower and seals of the silversmith Mohammed El Makkawy. The pair has not been polished to preserve patina.   ∅ 6.5cm H6cm W236g  Similar sample p.31 AWorld of Bracelets and p. 78/9 Enchanted Jewelry of Egypt Price € 500

5b

Pair of Bracelets Egypt, Dahla/Siwa oases. Beautiful adornments engraved with fish turn away from each other. Slightly different in design than pair 5a The style and the fish motif of these broad cuffs, usually worn in pairs, show influence by Berber iconography. Both cuffs show the Egypt national silver hallmarks : +800 + lotus flower + seals of the silversmith Mohammed El Makkawy. The pair has not been polished to preserve patina.  ∅ 6,5cm H 7 cm W298 g  Similar sample p.31 AWorld of Bracelets p78/9Enchanted Jewelry of Egypt.  Price € 600

6Pair of Bracelets Egypt, Siwa oasis, Western desert. Very fine engraved pair of bracelets ‘swar’ with astral symbols. The central flower motive in the center is flanked by two grooved studs. The cuffs are flared such that the ends are wider than the front and are usually worn in pairs. They have not been polished to preserve patina, Silver 800 acid tested  ∅ 7 cm H 5.5 x 10 cm W 390 g Similar sample p.31 A World of Bracelets.  Price € 450

7Bracelet Egypt, Siwa oasis, Western desert This heavy cuff has lovely floral motifs flanked by decorations of crescent moons. The ornament called ‘swar’ is flared such that the ends are wider than the front. On the two grooved studs as well as inside the cuff you’ll find seals of the famous silversmith Al Makkawi. Silver 800 acid tested and has not been cleaned to preserve patina. ∅ 7 cm H 5.5 x 9 cm W 231 g Similar sample p.31 A World of Bracelets. Price € 225

9 Bracelet Egypt, Siwa oasis, Western desert Broad bracelet with excellent chased flower and fish motives. In terms of techniques of folk jewelry in the Magreb region, the ornament is of outstanding quality. Inside the cuff you’ll find seals of silversmith El Makkawi and the threepart national Egyptian silver 800+ and other hallmarks early last century but cannot be exactly deciphered as the ornament not cleaned to preserve patina.  ∅ 6 cm H 8cm W145 g Similar sample on p.31 A World of Bracelets. Price € 200

10Pair of Bracelets Egypt, Siwa oasis Western desert. Sturdy pair of cuffs with abstract engravings of chevrons and crescents indicate strong influence by the Berber jewelry of the Magreb region . The adornments are usually worn in pairs.The inside shows the seals of the famous silversmith Al Makkawi & other Tughra stamps as well as the three part Egyptian national silver hallmark 800+  cat with lifted tail ,∅ 6.5cm H5.8 cm W 297 g .Similar sample p.29 A World of Bracelets Price € 500

12Pair of Bracelets Egypt, Siwa oasis Western desert Simple engraved ornaments with traces of gilding. This type of bracelet, usually worn in pairs, is also found with bedouins in Tunisia. Silver 800/1000 acid tested. Lovely tughra stamps/seasls at the inside oa of the silversmith ( Makkawi or Osta Abraham )  ∅ 7cm H 2.5 cm W 143g. Similar sample p.28 A World of Bracelets  Price € 300

13Pair of Bracelets Egypt, Siwa oasis Western desert Simple engraved with the three part Egyptian silver hallmark 800/1000 inside, other parts of hallmark difficult to be deciphered bçause of patina as ornaments have not been cleaned.Well worn, inscriptions a bit faded Usually worn in pairs .∅ 6.5cm H 1.8cm W 93g  Similar sample p.28 A World of Bracelets  Price € 200

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABracelet Egypt, Dahla oasis , Western desert (a) This cuff has unpretentious engravings. The bracelet is well worn but in sturdy condition and has splendid patina . The Egyptian threepart national silver hallmark shows > 800/1000 a cat with lifted tail, other marks cannot be exactly deciphered bçause of the patina.∅ 6cm H 2.7cm W 59g Similar sample p.28 AWorld of Bracelets  Price € 150

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABracelet Egypt, Dahla oasis , Western desert (b)This cuff has unpretentious engravings.The ornament is well worn, but in sturdy condition with splendid patina, therefore not cleaned. Silver 800+ acid tested. No Egy hallmark be deciphered , most probably goes with 14a, also taken circum & weight into account   ∅ 6cm H 2.7cm W 52g. Similar sample p.28 AWorld of Bracelets  Price € 125

15

Pair of Bracelets Egypt, Dahla oasis , Western desert This pair with crescent engravings is wonderfully worn with smooth patina, therefore not cleaned.The Egyptian threepart national silver hallmark shows + 800/1000 and lotusflower  Inside the artisan smith left his seal,and other marks cannot be exactly deciphered bçause of the patina.∅ 5.5cm H 3.5 cm W 107g.  Similar sample p.28 AWorld of Bracelets Price € 300

16Pair of Anklets Egypt, Upper/Nubia ‘khalakhil’ Hollow chased anklets of silver sheets decorated with polyhedral pommels. These type of anklets have slight variations in size, bend and color, combined with the uniqueness of decoration gives each piece a significance of its own. Most anklets of this kind were found in the Halaib area along the Egypt/Sudanese border. This pair shows reminiscence of wax with which it was apparently partly stuffed and has nice patina. The body is engraved with alignments of chevrons and crescents. Ornaments are not polished to preserve patina and silver +800 acid tested ∅ 8x12cm H 3.5 cm W 232g. Similar sample p.33 AWorld of BraceletsPrice € 250

17Pair of Anklets Egypt, Upper/Nubia Hollow chased anklets of silver sheets with polyhedral pommels decorated. The body of the anklets is engraved with alignments of chevrons and crescents. These type of anklets have slight variations in size, bend and color, combined with the uniqueness of decoration gives each piece a significance of its own. Most anklets of this kind were found in the Halaib area along the Egypt/Sudanese border.Ornaments are not polished to preserve the patina and silver +800 acid tested.∅ 7x10cm H 3 cm W 203g. Similar sample p.33 AWorld of Bracelets Price € 200

18Anklet Egypt,/Nubia/Rashaida Hollow chased anklet of silver plate sheets with polyhedral pommels. These type of anklets have slight variations in size, bend and color, combined with the uniqueness of decoration gives each piece a significance of its own. Most anklets of this kind were found in the Halaib area along the Egypt/Sudanese border. The body of this anklet is engraved with alignments of chevrons ,crosses and crescents separated by parallel double lines. Silver +800 acid tested ∅ 8x12cm H 3.5 cm W 128g. Similar sample p.33 AWorld of Bracelets  Price € 75

19Anklet Egypt,/Nubia/Rashaida Hollow chased anklet of silver sheets decorated with polyhedral pommels . The body is engraved with alignments of chevrons ,crosses and crescents. This ornament is well worn These type of anklets have slight variations in size, bend and color, combined with the uniqueness of decoration gives each piece a significance of its own. Most anklets of this kind were found in the Halaib area along the Egypt/Sudanese border.Silver +800 acid tested ∅ 8x12cm H 3.5 cm W 100 g Similar sample p.33 A World of Bracelets Price € 60

20Anklet Egypt,/Nubia/Rashaida Solid and heavy to wear pair with polyhedral pommels and engraved with alignments of chevrons and crescents. Extremely heavy anklets were often presented and kept primarily for their value. These type of anklets have slight variations in size, bend and color, combined with the uniqueness of decoration gives each piece a significance of its own. Most anklets of this kind were found in the Halaib area along the Egypt/Sudanese border. Silver +700 acid tested ∅ 5.5×6.5 cm H1.5cm W 535 g Similar sample p.33 AWorld of Bracelets Price € 200

21

Anklet Egypt,/Nubia/RashaidaThese well -worn hollow chased anklets without engravings have cute pommels Typical pair of Fellah women These type of anklets have slight variations in size, bend and color, combined with the uniqueness of decoration gives each piece a significance of its own. Most anklets of this kind were found in the Halaib area along the Egypt/Sudanese border.This pair has a strikingly contemporary design and comfortably be used as bracelets Silver 800/1000 acid tested.∅ 6x7cm H 1.2 cm W 99g Similar sample p.33A World of Bracelets Price € 150

22Pair of Bracelets Egypt, Nubia/Sudan These bracelets are often referred to as ‘Nubian’, but are also widespread among a variety of nomadic people in the area. The delicate design is typical for the region, they are worn as pair. These cast solid silver bracelets sets are worn by women and made from 1 to 6 similar layers. When soldered together it may indicate the wealth of the family. Each one of the three cones and smaller hemispherical studs are connected by filligree wires.Ornaments are not polished to preserve patina This precious antique Nubian pair you will seldom come across as it is one of the very few of this type that has the national silver hallmark showing a Lotus, thus dates very early 20century ∅ 6x7cm W173 g Similar sample p.33 A World of Bracelets, p.37 Ethnic jewelery Price € 400

23Pair of Bracelets Egypt, Nubia/Sudan These bracelets are often referred to as ‘Nubian’, but are also widespread among a variety of nomadic people in the area. The delicate design is typical for the region, they are worn as pair. These cast solid silver bracelets sets are worn by women and made from 1 to 6 similar layers. When soldered together it may indicate the wealth of the family. Each one of the three cones and smaller hemispherical studs are connected by filligree wires. . Ornaments are not polished to preserve patina. Silver 800acid tested This Nubian bracelet set was most probably worn by girls taken the ∅ into account  ∅ 4×5.5cm W149 g  Similar sample p.33 A World of Bracelets, p.37 Ethnic jewelery  Price € 150

24Pair of Bracelets Egypt, Nubia/Sudan This delicate solid ‘Nubian’ pair has two layers soldered together These bracelets are often referred to as ‘Nubian’, but are also widespread among a variety of nomadic people in the area. The delicate design is typical for the region, they are worn as pair. These cast solid silver bracelets sets are worn by women and made from 1 to 6 similar layers. When soldered together it may indicate the wealth of the family. Each one of the three cones and smaller hemispherical studs are connected by filligree wiresSilver 800 acid tested Ornaments on picture were not polished to preserve the patina∅ 5x6cm H 1.5cm W142 g. Similar sample p.33 A World of Bracelets, p.37 Ethnic jewelery Price € 200

25Bracelet Egypt, Nubia/Sudan Lovely single Nubian smooth bracelet made of two layers This kind of bracelet is often referred to as ‘Nubian’, but are also widespread among a variety of nomadic people in the area. The delicate design is typical for the region, they are worn as pair. These cast solid silver bracelets sets are worn by women and made from 1 to 6 similar layers. When soldered together it may indicate the wealth of the family. Each one of the three cones and smaller hemispherical studs are connected by filligree wires.Ornament is not polished to preserve patina ∅ 5x6cm H 1.5cm W 101g Similar sample p.33 A World of Bracelets, p.37 Ethnic jewelery Price € 150

26Pair of Bracelets Egypt, Nubia/Sudan This superb Nubian pair of three layers soldered together has nice patina, therefore not cleaned. These bracelets are often referred to as ‘Nubian’, but are also widespread among a variety of nomadic people in the area. The delicate design is typical for the region, they are worn as pair. These cast solid silver bracelets sets are worn by women and made from 1 to 6 similar layers. When soldered together it may indicate the wealth of the family. Each one of the three cones and smaller hemispherical studs are connected by filligree wires. ∅ 5.5×6.5cm H 1.8cm W220 g Silver 800 acid tested.  Similar sample p.33 A World of Bracelets, p.37 Ethnic jeweleryPrice € 350

27Pair of Bracelets Egypt, Nubia/Sudan Excellent solid ‘Nubian’ pair of four layers soldered together. These bracelets are often referred to as ‘Nubian’, but are also widespread among a variety of nomadic people in the area. The delicate design is typical for the region, they are worn as pair. These cast solid silver bracelets sets are worn by women and made from 1 to 6 similar layers. When soldered together it may indicate the wealth of the family. Each one of the three cones and smaller hemispherical studs are connected by filligree wires. 800 acid tested ∅ 5.5×6.cm H 2.5cm W219 g Similar sample p.33 A World of Bracelets, p.37 Ethnic jewelery Price € 350

29Pair of Bracelets Egypt, Nubia/Sudan/Rashaida Intriging pair of good craftmanship and techniques . The rich design includes three cones in desert rose motif. The pair is of  silver alloy mixed metallic hence most probably worn by poor folks.Ornaments are not polished to preserve patina∅ 5 x 7.5cm W183 g Similar sample p.33 A World of Bracelets.Price € 175

30Pair of Bracelets Egypt,El Fayoum oasis Solid cast pair with astral iconography and three oval shaped ornaments. Wonderful pair appealing in the simplicity of its design as known in this oasis. The bracelets have some authentic slightly worn away engravings at one side that show their daily use The three part Egyptian silver hallmark was detected, but cannot be decoded due to patina, ornaments are not cleaned Silver 800acid tested ∅ 5cm H3.2cm W301 g Similar sample p.111 Enchanted Jewelry of Egypt and p 53 Ethnic Jewellery Price € 400

31Bracelet Egypt,El Fayoum oasis Heavy cast ‘asawir’ appealing in the simplicity of its design with some astral iconography. The bracelet is engraved symmetric with three oval shaped ornaments.The bracelet is not polished to preserve patina.Silver at least 800/1000 acid tested ∅ 5cm H2.5cm W129g p 53 Ethnic Jewellery   Price € 150

32

Pair of BraceletsEgypt, Bahariya oasis The ornaments of distinctive design have each two quadratic studs.The inside shows various tughra stamps/seals; when cleaned you’ll be able to decode. The ornaments have not been cleaned to protect patina. Silver 800/1000 acid tested These bracelets were found along the track of the Awlad-Al Bedouins, who constantly traveled between Libya and Egypt before the border was closed.∅ 5cm H3> 4cm W251g Similar sample p.28 A World of Bracelets Price € 350

33Pair of Bracelets Egypt, Bahariya oasis, Maghreb This pair of distinctive design has abstract engravings and each two quadratic studs as well as tughra stamps/seal interial &at front ; when cleaned you’ll be able to decode.The pair has not been polished to preserve patina These bracelets were found along the track of the Awlad-Al Bedouins, who constantly travelled between Libya and Egypt before the border was closed. Silver approx 800 acid tested.∅ 5.5×4.5cm H2.5> 4.5cm W129g Similar sample p.28 A World of Bracelets  Price € 200

34Pair of Bracelets Egypt, Bahariya oasis, Maghreb. Gracious solid pair with three riveted flower shaped studs. Signs of significant wear with aged patina, therefore the pair has not been cleaned. Collector’s item not to be found anymore. Up to mid last this century this type of solid silver bracelet was found in North Africa as far as Marocco, like many other bracelets from Taroudant . Collector’s item not to be found anymore. These are sealed by the silversmith. Silver 800 acid tested ∅5cm H2.5> 4.cm W127g Similar sample p.30 A World of Bracelets Price € 300

I.28 Bracelet Egypt/Bedouine/Red sea Splendid crescent shaped flat silver bracelet with simple crescent engravings. Ends with polyhedral pommels and nice patina. Silver 900/1000  ∅ inner 6cm ∅ outer 7cm W 69g Similar sample p. 153 Enchanted Jewelry of Egypt Price € 120

 

 

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