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Updated: 14 April 2015
Pair of silver earrings ('umud or ghalamiyat) consisting of a large ovoid bead with a raised central band decorated with spikes. The bead is divided into triangular sections with floral-stamped gold-leaf decoration which are bordered by rows of beaded wire. A pyramid of silver balls ending with a bead of mulberry granulation hangs from the bottom tip of the ovoid bead. Soldered to the top is a plain round silver hook. These earrings are too heavy to be hung from pierced earlobes. Rather, they are hooked from the loops of a silver head-strap (mishill or safifa, see for example 2009,6023.186-187) or from a fine chain that is looped around the entire ear, thus bearing the weight of the earrings quite comfortably. Worn by the women of northern Oman from the coastal town of Sur and by the Bedouin women of the Sharqiyah. Also worn by the Bedouin women of Central Oman and sometimes combined with the shibgat necklace (see 2009,6023.213).
- Made in: Oman
- (Asia,Middle East,Arabia,Oman)
- Length: 13 centimetres (full ear-ring (average))
- Circumference: 12 centimetres (widest part (average))
- Weight: 44 grammes (2009,6023.178)
- Weight: 42 grammes (2009,6023.179)
- Diameter: 4 centimetres (widest part)
For similar examples see: Ruth Hawley, 'Silver: The Traditional Art of Oman' (London, 2000); Jehan S. Rajab, 'Silver Jewellery of Oman' (Kuwait, 1997); Neil Richardson and Marcia Dorr, 'The Craft Heritage of Oman' (Dubai, 2003).
According to Pauline Shelton, 'Such ear-rings continue to be made and worn in Sur, though nowadays they are in gold.' See Miranda Morris and Pauline Shelton, 'Oman Adorned: A Portrait in Silver' (Muscat and London, 1997), p.73. For images of Bedouin women of Central Oman wearing similar earrings combined with the shibgat necklace and see also Morris and Shelton, pp.172-173.
This object is part of a collection of 20th century silver items (2009,6023.1 ff.) acquired in Oman between 1987-1995. This collection was mainly acquired in the markets of Nizwa, Mutrah and Rustaq and a small number of pieces were acquired in Sur, Wadi Bani Ouf, Bahla, Ibra and Ibri.
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Object reference number: RRM41549
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