Pair of silver earrings (ghalamiyat) consisting of a large ovoid bead with a raised central band decorated with small silver spikes. The ovoid bead is made from several lengths of twisted silver wire, creating a hollow bird-cage effect. 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, for everyday wear they are hung from a loop of leather (shinag) which hangs around the ear. For special occasions, the earrings are hooked from the loops of a silver head-strap (mishill, see for example 2009,6023.186-187). Worn by the Bedouin women of Central Oman.
- Made in: Oman
- (Asia,Middle East,Arabia,Oman)
- Length: 11.5 centimetres (full ear-ring (average))
- Circumference: 11.5 centimetres (widest part (average))
- Weight: 70 grammes (2009,6023.176)
- Weight: 72 grammes (2009,6023.177)
- Diameter: 4.2 centimetres (widest part (average))
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 Miranda Morris, 'Some of these ear-rings were very heavy, very costly and richly decorated. Others - to lessen the expense - were made by burnishing a layer of silver-leaf to a core which had been carved from wood, bone, resin, pitch or some other non-silver substance.' See Miranda Morris and Pauline Shelton, 'Oman Adorned: A Portrait in Silver' (Muscat and London, 1997), p.165.
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: RRM41603
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