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Earrings

Earrings

  • Place of origin:

    Oran, Algeria (made)

  • Date:

    1859-1899 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Edmond Dresden

  • Museum number:

    304&A-1904

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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The traditional jewellery of the Berber tribes of North Africa is almost always made of silver in heavy, clearly-defined shapes. Although individual pieces rarely date back any earlier than the 19th century, the designs are very old, and European observers liked to find traces of Roman or Phoenician influence.

Earrings like these, with a simple pattern of triangles like the teeth of a saw, were worn mainly in Algeria, although they were also worn in neighbouring Tunisia and Libya. They were described as having the name halak when they were acquired by the Museum in 1904, but this is a generic name for earrings. They are usually described today by their specific Berber name of timcherreft or mcharraf.

Physical description

Pair of large silver earrings, each made from a hoop of wire with each end flattened with a hole in its centre. There is a row of triangles like the teeth of a saw, decorated with tiny cast domes, along both sides of the lower edge, giving a serrated effect.

Place of Origin

Oran, Algeria (made)

Date

1859-1899 (made)

Artist/maker

unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

Silver

Marks and inscriptions

Minerva’s head with the number 2 and the letter 'و', in a barrel-shaped frame. Mark for 800 standard silver, Oran, 1859 onwards.
[Earring] 'LZ' either side of a vertical rod with wrapping round its lower half, in a vertical lozenge frame. Mark of unidentified maker.

Dimensions

Height: 10 cm, Width: 8.7 cm

Object history note

Accessions register entry: 'Pair of earrings ("Halak") of silver. / Of annular form, the upper part of stout wire, the lower flat with serrated edges and cast with a granulated surface. Stamped with modern French marks. / North African. / Diam. 3 3/8 in.'

Descriptive line

Pair of silver hoop earrings (timcherreft) with saw-tooth decoration along the lower edge, Oran (Algeria), 1859-1899.

Materials

Silver

Categories

Metalwork; Africa; Jewellery

Collection code

MES

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Qr_O79474
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