Omani antique silver bracelet
Omani antique silver bracelet

SILVER BRACELETS

In Oman silver bracelets and elbow-rings are always worn in pairs.

Originally in Oman most jewelry was silver however as people became more prosperous, silver jewelry was being replaced by gold. However we can see from Wellsted that the wealthiest women in the 1830´s already wore golden artifacts.

Wellsted in in his detailed description of Oman in 1838 writes: "Among the lower classes , the  female dress consists of a loose pair of trousers, with a running girdle, and a large gown or skirt of blue (indigo? ) cotton; their arms and ankles are decorated with bracelets and ankle-rings of silver or Amber (??); an in their ears they wear a variety of rings and other ornaments.

The dress of more respectable females is quite as simple , but the materials are silk of Indian manufacture; and over the gown , when abroad they wear a large wrapper. They display their love of finery in the gold ornaments with which they decorate their heads. "

 

Omani antique silver bracelet

Omani silver bracelet used for dancing

 

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Pair antique Omani silver Bossed Bracelets named banagiri muschawwaka Scarce Oamni jewelry.

Heavy Antique Omani silver Bracelet

Scarce bossed bracelets (constructed from 3 bracelets) very heavy. Matching pair. These bracelets were typically worn by married women or girls form the age of fourteen savings. Heavy set of silver bracelets, rare to find. 11 cm High, Diameter 7 cm.  Total weight 750 grams.

 

Wangemann (ref 8 page 11)  describes in 1890 the jewellery offered  the (fruit) market in Zanzibar town including large bracelets made of flat silver decorated with large points according to the Arab taste.

The sharp points of the bracelets below have been worn off, over time. 

Antique Omani silver bracelets

Arab names: Banagiri bu nujum (bracelets with hemispheres) / Banagiri mefolic (young girl with round breasts) / Benagiri Mushawwaka / Bangari Mushawak

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Oman Sharqiyah

References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 111
  2. Disappearing treasures of Oman Avelyn Forster page seventy;
  3. Catalog of the Oman exhibition in the Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam 2009 page 143
  4. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p 71
  5. Silver jewellery of Oman by Jehan S Rajab 1997 p 57
  6. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 87
  7. Ethnic Jewellery from Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands 2002 Amsterdam Pepin Press page 53
  8. Wangemann in Land und Leute 1890 page 11 describes the jewelry offered  the market in Zanzibar  "Breite Armbander aus geflochtenem gold und silberdraht oder aus flach geschlagen streisen mit spitzen buckeln darauf nach arabischen geschmack)"

Pair of antique Omani silver elbow rings

Antique Omani silver elbow ring

Scarce finely decorated and antique Elbow rings (Adud, Shilal) Evil eye motive. One elbow ring only. Fine design.  Diameter inside 6,5 cm  outside 10 cm Weight 140 grams. Elbow rings were worn just above the elbow under the clothes and have little silver balls or stones in them that rankle  when moving the arm. Elbow rings are very varied in patterns. It was also said that the rattle of the elbow-rings had a practical side: the men of the family could hear where the woman was and a stranger would be warned of her approach.

Omani antique silver elbow rings

Arab names: Adud / Shilal / Kharkash / Kitah / Zand (meaning upper arm)

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Oman:  Sur, Jaalan, Bidiya

References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 109-110;
  2. J.L. Carter Tribes in Oman Peninsular publishing 1982 page 113
  3. British museum has similar item in their on-line collection number: 2009, 6023.113-114

Pair of antique Omani silver elbow-rings

Omani antique silver Bracelet.

Common Omani antique silver elbow-rings. Wave or Snake like pattern. Elbow rings were worn just above the elbow under the clothes and have little silver balls or stones in them that rankle when moving the arm. Elbow rings are very varied in patterns. It was also said that the rattle of the elbow-rings had a practical side: the men of the family could hear where the woman was and a stranger would be warned of her approach. Diameter (outside) 10 cm. 

 Antique Omani silver elbow rings

Arab names: Adud / Shilal / Kharkash / Kitah / Zand (meaning upper arm)

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Oman: Sur, Jaalan, Bidiya. Carter ref 2 page 113 says they are specific from Rustaq in Oman but that exactly similar bracelets are still made in Iran and the design extends to Baghdad.

 References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 109-110;
  2. J.L. Carter Tribes in Oman Peninsular publishing London 1982 page 113
  3. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 92 same design

Single Omani antique silver elbow-ring (with evil eye design)

Omani antique silver Bracelet

Common Omani  silver Bracelet. Designed against the evil eye. Contains little stones to make sound while dancing. Elbow rings were worn just above the elbow under the clothes and have little silver balls or stones in them that rankle when moving the arm. Elbow rings are very varied in patterns.  This elbow-ring was clearly worn for amuletic purposes and were worn for protection against the "evil eye" The upper arm was a place where amulets were sometimes tied. It was also said that the rattle of the elbow-rings had a practical side: the men of the family could hear where the woman was and a stranger would be warned of her approach. Diameter outside 11 cm.

Antique Omani silver bracelet

Arab names: Adud / Shilal / Kharkash / Kitah / Zand (meaning upper arm)

Period: 1850-1950Origin: Oman: Batinah region and or Sharqiyah. Carter ref 3 page 113 says they are specifically from Rustaq in Oman However similar bracelets are still made in Iran and the design extends to Baghdad as well.

References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997  p 109-110,112
  2. Richardson & Dorr The craft and Heritage of Oman vol 2 page 446 item 065
  3.  J.L. Carter Tribes in Oman Peninsular publishing 1982 page 27 
  4. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p 81
  5. Silver jewellery of Oman  by Jehan S Rajab  1997 p 17
  6. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 93
  7. Arab & Islamic Silver by Saad Al-Jadir 1981   Stacey International  p 120 bottom
  8. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman by Jean Greffioz 2009 (privately published) page 93 fig 5.15 has photo with a similar item.

Antique Omani bossed silver bracelets

Antique Oman silver bracelets named banagiri muschawwaka

Scarce bossed bracelets banagiri muschawwaka. Matching pair. (High Quality) Purpose: female jewelry / bracelet, heavy pieces also used for investment / savings. Diameter 7 cm Total weight 320 gram. Bossed bracelets of one sort or another were worn throughout Oman.Some believe that these were originally fertility bracelets, with the bosses representing breasts.  These bracelets were typically worn by married women or girls form the age of fourteen.

antique Omani silver bracelets

Arab names: Banagiri bu nujum (bracelets with hemispheres / stars )  / Banagiri mefolic  (young girl with round breasts)

Period: 1850-1900

Origin: Oman

References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 111
  2. Silver jewellery of Oman by Jehan S Rajab 1997 p 32
  3. British Museum on-line collection  number 2009,6023.9-10 Weight 142 and 146 grams. Diameter 6.2 cm Width 4.2 cm

Antique Omani bossed silver bracelets

Omani antique silver bracelets anemd banagiri muschawwaka

Scarce bossed bracelets banagiri muschawwaka Matching pair. (High quality. )Purpose: female jewelry / bracelet, heavy pieces also used for investment/savings. Diameter 6,5 cm. 325 gram. Bossed bracelets of one sort or another were worn throughout Oman.Some believe that these were originally fertility bracelets, with the bosses representing breasts. These bracelets were typically worn by married women or girls from the age of fourteen.

 

Antique Omani silver bracelet \

Arab names: Banagiri bu nujum (bracelets with hemispheres) / Banagiri mefolic (young girl with round breasts)

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Oman

References: 

  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 111

Antique Omani D-shaped silver bracelet named Mekaddebit. Omani silver jewelry from Dhofar Oman

Antique Omani silver bracelet named Mekaddebit

Bracelet named Mekaddebit. Rare (but I have seen Indian fakes in the Muttrah souq the last time we visited Oman) The most expensive of the distinctly Dhofari bracelets, worn all over Dhofar , by Bedouin of the Northern and Western Dhofar areas and the Mahri people was the D-shaped bangle called Mekaddebit. It is made of high quality silver, however the decorated side is hollow and typically filled with pitch or bitumen, while the core of the curved part is sometimes made of brass. Weight 140 grams Length 8,5 cm.

 

Antique Omani silver bracelet

Arab names: Mekaddebit / Sukaylat (Carter) / Mukadabat

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Oman: Dhofar region (Carter sees some influence from work in the Hadramawt in Yemen)

References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 269-271; 276-278 /
  2. J.L. Carter Tribes in Oman Peninsular publishing 1982 page 110 ;
  3. Catalog of the Oman exhibition in the Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam 2009 page 135
  4. Silver jewellery of Oman by Jehan S Rajab 1997 page 64 
  5. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 96
  6. British Museum on-line collection number: 2009.6023.83-84 Weight 146 and 147 grams length 8,5 cm Pair of heavy silver D-shaped bangles (mukaddabah or mekaddebit) decorated with stamped designs and wire-work. These are considered the most expensive of the distinctly Dhofari bracelets although they are not solid silver. The straight edge of the D-shape is hollow and filled-in with pitch or bitumen (lek), and the twisted rope-like curve of the D-shape is made by beating a layer of silver over a core of several twisted wires made of brass (or other inexpensive metal) Worn by women of southern and central Oman, including the Bedouin of the northern and western desert areas and by the Mahra people
  7. Oman Faces and places, articles from PDO News magazine 2009 134
  8. Oman and its Renaissance  by Sir Donald Hawley Stacey International London 1987 page 139 photo with similar item

Antique Omani silver Bracelets (with gold wash)

Antique Omani silver Bracelets

Common Menagir and Hagula bracelets (plain silver and with gold). With gold wash and silver items soldered on. Also notice the design on the back of the bracelet, shown in the slide-show. According to Miranda Morris, 'When gold became more readily available in Oman, and as and when she or her husband could afford it, a bedouin woman took other pieces to have gold-leaf added to them, or for them to be gold-washed...If a piece were to be gilded, it was generally considered better to have it done in Adam, where the silversmiths had a lot of experience in gilding silver, rather than to send it south to Salalah, where gilding was little practised.' See Miranda Morris and Pauline Shelton, 'Oman Adorned: A Portrait in Silver' (Muscat, 1997) p.221. Diameter 8 cm Height front 4,3 cm.

Antique Omani silver bracelet

 

Antique Omani silver braceletAntique Omani silver bracelet

 

Arab names: Menagir / Hagula / Hajulah

Period: 1900-1950

Condition:Central Oman (Bedouin) Ibri?

References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond Miranda Morris / Apex London 1997 p 184, 221 
  2. Richardson & Dorr The craft and Heritage of Oman vol 2 page 444 item 054 
  3. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p 76 fig 72
  4. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 89-90
  5. Ethnic Jewellery from Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands 2002 Amsterdam Pepin Press p 61
  6. British Museum has a similar set of bracelets reg. 2009,6023.81-82 Diameter: 7 cm (average oval) Height: 4.2 cm (average front) Weight: 62 gram and 65 gram(2009,6023.82) Pair of silver bracelets (hajula or hagula manfukha, literally 'inflated bracelet') made from a hollow tube of silver on the back and a broad curved rectangular panel on the front. The bracelet is densely decorated with chased designs on the exterior featuring geometric patterns and circles. Aspects of the design are picked out with gold-wash. Particularly associated with the Bedouin of Central Oman

Antique Omani silver Bracelets

Antique Omani silver bracelets named Menagir or Hagula

Common Menagir and Hagula bracelets (plain silver and with gold)Silver bracelet (hajula or hagula manfukha, literally 'inflated bracelet') made from a hollow tube of silver on the back and a broad curved rectangular panel on the front. The bracelet is densely decorated with chased and stamped designs on the exterior featuring geometric patterns, wavy lines and circles. Worn in pairs and associated with Bedouin women in central and eastern Oman. Height front 4,3 cm Diameter 8 cm.

 

 Antique Omani silver bracelet

Arab names: Menagir / Hagula / Hajulah / Manfukha

Period: 1900-1950

Condition: Central Oman (Bedouin) Ibri?

References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p 184, 221
  2. Richardson & Dorr The craft and Heritage of Oman vol 2 page 444 item 054 
  3. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p 76 fig 71 ; Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 89
  4. Ethnic Jewellery from Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands 2002 Amsterdam Pepin Press p 61
  5. British Museum has similar (but very worn) item in on-line collection number 2012, 6010.14 purchased in Oman Diameter: 7.5 centimetres Height: 3.6 centimetres Weight: 107 grammes British Museum has another set in their on-line collection number 2009,6023.75-76 weight 125 grams and 131 grams. Another set number 2009,6023.77-78 with weight   150 and 151 grams  Pair of silver bracelets (hajula or hagula manfukha, literally 'inflated bracelet') made from a hollow tube of silver on the back and a broad curved rectangular panel on the front. The bracelet is densely decorated with chased designs on the exterior featuring geometric patterns and circles
  6. Islamic Art in Oman page 353
  7. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman by Jean Greffioz 2009 (privately published) page 89 has photos with a similar item.

Pair Antique silver Omani bracelets

Antique Omani silver bracelets named Banjiri bu nujum

 

Rare pair of antique narrow bossed bracelets Matching pair.  Rare to find such narrow Omani bracelet.  Bosses outside and the inside is smooth / flat which is unusual.  Size: Height 2 cm Diameter 7 cm high 180 grams. 

 

 

 

Arab names: Banjiri bu nujum / Muschawwaka

Period: 1850-1900

Origin: Oman

References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond Miranda Morris / Apex London 1997 p 111;
  2. Disappearing treasures of Oman Avelyn Forster figure 71;
  3. Richardson & Dorr The craft and Heritage of Oman vol 2 page 445 item 059
  4. Islamic rt in Oman page 352

Single antique Omani Baluchi silver incised bracelet (Omani jewelry for a small child) or anklet

Engraved antique Omani silver bracelet

Very  Rare Miniature single crescent shaped bracelet made of high grade silver for a small child. These bracelets were worn by boys and girls. No pebbles inside this small type. Diameter inside 5 cm Height 1,5 cm Diameter 8 cm 30 grams. Compare with the one in the Harold Ingrams collection in the British Museum

 

antique Omani silver bracelet

 

 

Arab names: Kamar (moon)  / Sanka (Baluchi name)

Period: 1850-1940

Origin: Oman: Baluchi people in Muscat and Muttrah; Also similarities with incised bracelets from Yemen.

References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond Miranda Morris / Apex London 1997 p 112 
  2. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p 78 fig 73
  3. Silver jewellery of Oman by Jehan S Rajab 1997 p 59
  4. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 91
  5. British Museum Harold Ingrams collection, collected in the 1930´s.  On line collection number 2012, 6030.47 Height 1,5 cm Diameter 5.7 cm, Weight 38 grams Dated 1930-1940. Cresent-shaped silver bracelets (qamr, literally 'moon') with ridged edges. Hollow and filled with small stones that rattle inside. Ornamented with chased decoration including dots, hatched lines and abstract floral motifs. Usually worn in pairs by children, both boys and girls, as bracelets and anklets and are particularly associated with Baluch people of Yemen and Oman.
  6. Oman Faces and Places page 137
  7. Oman and its Renaissance  by Sir Donald Hawley Stacey International London 1987 page 139 photo with similar item
  8. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman by Jean Greffioz 2009 (privately published) page 91 fig 5.11 has photo with a similar item.

Pair antique Omani Baluchi silver incised bracelets or anklets

Antique Omani silver bracelet

 

Common pair of antique crescent shaped and incised  bracelets (Kamar). Matching pair. These anklets were filled with pebbles for dancing and were worn by boys and girls. Diameter outside 10 cm Height 2 cm.

 

 

Arab names: Kamar (moon) / Sanka (baluchi name)

Period: 1850-1900

Origin: Oman:  Baluchi people in Muscat and Muttrah (however the lower silver content could also indicate the bracelets came from Baluchistan) The shape has some similarities with the "Tomb" (Gubur) bracelets from Yemen. Recalling the Oriental tomb structures on a graveyard Diameter inside over 6 cm. Height 1,8 cm Weight 100 grams each. See photo slide-show for a lady wearing a similar bracelet, photo taken between 1900 and 1910.

 References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond Miranda Morris/ Apex London 1997 p 112 
  2. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p 78 fig 73
  3. Silver jewellery of Oman by Jehan S Rajab 1997 p 59 
  4. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 91
  5. Oman Faces and places, articles from PDO News magazine 2009 page 137
  6. PDO News No 4/1992 Oman silver Jewelry by Rebecca Brickson page 29
  7. Oman and its Renaissance  by Sir Donald Hawley Stacey International London 1987 page 139 photo with similar item
  8. British Museum has similar bracelets reg. 2009,6023.87-88 Weight: 56 grammes Weight: 53 grammes (2009,6023.88) Diameter: 7.5 cm (average) Pair of cresent-shaped silver bracelets (qamr, literally 'moon') with ridged edges. The hollow bracelets are ornamented with chased decoration including dots, circles, hatched lines and abstract floral motifs. These were worn in pairs by children, both boys and girls, as bracelets and anklets and are particularly associated with the Baluch families of the Mutrah and Muscat regions of northern Oman

Antique Omani silver open narrow Bracelet with bosses, favored by the Bedu

One open narrow antique Omani Dhofar Bracelet with bosses

One open narrow C-shaped bracelet with bosses. They are of a kind favored by the Bedu. Larger ones are built up by soldering two or three of these bracelets together  (see Carter ref 2 page 113) Scarce  (but I have seen Indian fakes in the Muttrah souq the last time we visited Oman) 6,5 cm long 1,9 cm high  weight 25 grams

 

Arab name: Mekaddebid

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Oman: Dhahirah region according to Carter

 References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 9-271276-278 (Mekaddebit)
  2. J.L. Carter Tribes in Oman Peninsular publishing 1982 page 113 
  3. Silver jewellery of Oman by Jehan S Rajab 1997 p 32 
  4. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 88
  5. Arab & Islamic Silver by Saad Al-Jadir 1981   Stacey International  p 121 bottom
  6. British Museum on-line collection number 2009,6023.39-40 Weight 40 grams 6.1 cm wide 2,4 cm high  Pair of narrow silver C-shaped bracelets (banjiri bu shawkah / banagiri mushawwaka, literally 'spiked bracelet') with a row of spiked bosses punctuated by vertical rows of four small round bosses. Made from sheet silver which was heated and hammered into a mould (die-stamped) The rims of the bracelets are decorated with rows of rope-like patterns made from wire-work. Worn in pairs by girls. From northern Oman

Antique Omani silver bracelet (unusual silver jewelry design in Oman)

Antique Omani bracelet.

Rare high quality antique Bedouin bracelet made of high grade silver with Maria Theresia Thaler in front. Rare to find such a bracelet in this fine quality. This type is more common to Yemen  however the quality silver and the type of detailed workmanship  clearly indicates Oman and is superior to the work from Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Diameter 7 cm. Weight 810 grams.

Antique Omani silver bracelet

Arab name: "Antique Omani bracelet"

Period: 1850-1900

Origin: Oman Bedouin

References:
  1. Bedouin jewelery in Saudi Arabia by Heather Ross   p 84-85 (poor sand-cast copy of such a bracelet)
  2. World of Bracelets 2002  by Anne van Cutsem page 140 Yemen Hadramawt

Antique Omani silver Bracelet

Antique Omani silver bracelet.

 

Rare bracelet made of high quality silver and again the type of workmanship indicates Oman. Height 10 cm. Diameter top 7 cm. Diameter bottom 5,5, cm. Weight 150 grams.

 

 

 

Antique Omani silver bracelet

Arab name: "Antique Omani bracelet"

Period: 1850-1900

Origin: Oman. The shape has strong influences from Gujarat / Rajastan. However the detailed designs and quality of the silver point towards Oman. Was purchased in Nizwa.

References:

  1. World of Bracelets 2002  by Anne van Cutsem page 173

Antique Omani bracelet of silver-wire with glass beads

Antique Omani silver and glass bracelet

 

Two rare matching bracelets of silver-wire and antique beads of red glass for children. Old pieces.

 

 

Arab Name: "Antique Omani silver and glass bracelet"

Period: 1900-1950

Origin: Oman

References:

  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond / Apex London 1997 p  173

Singele antique Omani silver bracelet

Antique Omani silver bracelet

Rare single very narrow silver bracelet with bosses or or worn down spikes. According to the British Museum it is made form a silver band that is hammered into a Moult (die-stamped) not sure if this is correct. Diameter 6.4 cm. Height 1.3 cm weight 65 grams.

 

 

Arab names: Banjiiri bu nujum / Muschawwaka

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Northern Oman?

References:
  1. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster page 71
  2. Arab & Islamic Silver by Saad Al-Jadir 1981   Stacey International  p 93
  3. British Museum on-line collection number 2012,6010.10 weight 92 grams Diameter 6.3 cm  Height 1.8 cm
  4. Islamic Art in Oman page 352