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Amulet

Amulet

  • Place of origin:

    Nubia (Worn by women of the Bishariya tribe, made)

  • Date:

    1850-1899 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Lion's claws set in a silver mount hung on a leather cord

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Edmond Dresden

  • Museum number:

    287-1904

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This silver pendant, and the other pieces bequeathed with it to the Museum at the same time, is part of the traditional jewellery of women from Nubia, particularly the Bishariya. The Bishariya are a nomadic tribe living in the eastern desert south of the Red Sea, in southern Egypt and northern Sudan.

Although the Bishariya often used gold for their traditional jewellery, unlike almost all other Muslim tribal women, they also used silver, particularly for amulets. This amulet has two lion’s claws, arranged like a crescent, and also has dangling bells to further enhance its protective effect.

Physical description

Two lion’s claws set in a silver mount as a pendant. The mount is a hollow rectangle, with the claws sticking out, facing down, on each side. The mount is decorated on the front with applied triangles, separated and bordered by strips of beaded wire. There is a similar strip of beaded wire down the sides of the back. There are two loops for suspension on the top of the mount, and three along the base, each of which has a pendant bell on a short chain of figure-of-eight links (one pendant is missing). There is a short strip of plaited leather threaded through the two suspension loops.

Place of Origin

Nubia (Worn by women of the Bishariya tribe, made)

Date

1850-1899 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Lion's claws set in a silver mount hung on a leather cord

Dimensions

Length: 275 mm, Width: 66 mm, Depth: 9 mm, Length: 65 mm pendant

Descriptive line

Amulet of two lion's claws in a silver mount strung on a leather cord, Nubia (Egypt or Sudan), 19th century.

Materials

Silver; Claw; Leather

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork; Africa; Amulets

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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