Saturday, March 9, 2013

Bridal Dowry Bracelet of the Yemenite Jews

Antique Yemen Silver Bracelet Bawsani Filigree Domes Rosette Clasp

More information on availability at DESIGNER'S WEBSITE

This is a beautifully designed antique Yemen silver bracelet with twelve small domes worked in Bawsani style filigree that decorates the middle band around the bracelet. The bands at the top and bottom of the bracelet are inlaid with beaded wire; all the decoration on the age-darkened silver of the base band glows with the nobility of old silver. 

The fastener is the traditional screw fastener of the Middle East. On the opposite side of the bracelet from the fastener is the matching hinge. One of the above photos shows the hinge side of the bracelet. The bracelet is in its original condition except for the aging and the smoothing of its features from being worn against skin or clothing. 
Even the rosette fastener cover is in its original condition with no chips or missing pieces. Such bracelets are becoming ever more rare. 

This beautiful piece of silver was created for a fortunate Yemeni woman before the 1940s when the Jewish silversmiths emigrated to Israel. Odds are that it was not made much before 1930, because traditionally, the older generation's jewelry was melted down to create the bridal dowry for the next generation. In the late 1940s, tradition was broken because the makers of such jewelry were gone. The jewelry became more and more valuable because there was no longer a way to have new pieces made. 

There is a very similar bracelet shown on page 139 of A World of Bracelets by Anne van Cutsem. It is attributed to the goldsmiths of Sana'a, Yemen, which was the location of the Bawsani community of gold and silver craftsmen. 

If you are interested in purchasing this item on our Lay-Away plan (see my policies page), just contact me by clicking on the Contact Seller button on this page. 

Inside diameter - 1.99 inches (5.1 cm) Width of band - 1 inch (2.5 cm)
The bracelet will fit around a 6.25 inch (15.1 cm) wrist

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