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Pair of bracelets - Bangles


  • Object:

    Pair of bracelets

  • Place of origin:

    Syria (made)

  • Date:

    1860-1870 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver-plated copper set with red and green pastes with applied twisted wire decoration.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Bracelets, always worn in pairs, were part of the traditional costume in almost all Islamic cultures. In the Syrian region, which incorporated much of Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon as well as Syria itself in the 19th century, they were worn by all sections of society, from townswomen to the nomadic Bedouin of the desert. The designs vary by sector and show influences from a wide area, reflecting Syria’s strong trading traditions and central location.

Hinged bracelets like these were more common among the settled urban and rural population. The use of a red paste on one and a green on the other is characteristic of Syrian traditional jewellery. They were bought for five shillings and sixpence (the pair) at the International Exhibition, London, in 1872. Their name was recorded as ‘ussuar’, which is a generic Arabic name for bracelets in the region.

Physical description

Pair of hinged silver-plated bracelets. Each consists of two hollow semi-circles of equal size hinged together at one end, and with a pin fastening at the other. The outside is decorated with a strip of applied filigree along the centre and borders of twisted wire. There is a lozenge-shaped plate over the fastening set with a red paste on one bracelet and a green on the other, and there is a smaller paste on each side of the hinge. The pin of the fastening is loose, and attached to the bracelet by a short length of figure-of-eight chain.

Place of Origin

Syria (made)


1860-1870 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silver-plated copper set with red and green pastes with applied twisted wire decoration.


Width: 8 cm both objects

Descriptive line

Pair of hollow silver-plated hinged bangles inset with red and green pastes, Syria, 1860-1870.


Plated; Paste




Jewellery; Metalwork


Middle East Section

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