Friday, September 20, 2013
A few weeks ago, I sold a bridal dowry amulet or hirz from my collection. It was signed by the maker, as so many of the finely made hirzes are. The maker's name was Ebrahem Saleh. Here is a photo of that particular amulet. The gallery did not store a photo of the signature, but this is the very amulet that Ebrahem Saleh signed after making it some time before the 1940's when all the silversmiths emigrated from Yemen to Israel.
Just this week, I found another interesting Yemen silver hirz when I was rummaging through another box of such amulets from Yemen, which I consider to be important pieces of Judaica . My website has a special section for the Yemen Jewish silversmith work, all made before they emigrated from Yemen to Israel in the 1940s. This amulet, too, is made by someone named Saleh. This one is signed by Yahia Saleh:
If the silversmiths signed their names with the family name first, then there may not be a genetic relationship between the two men, but if they signed their names as English speakers would sign, with the family name last, then there probably was a family relationship. Their designs are very similar, as you can see. The horizontal beaded wire strips between rows of diamond shapes and florets with almost identical decorative ends and the same shape of bails or loops for hanging the amulets. This would lead me to believe that they were working in the same shop in the Sana'a region of Yemen.
What do you think? Your comments are invited.
See more antique silver jewelry HERE.