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Crafts of the Past

Antique Yemen Silver Ring Two Fingered Granulation Bridal Dowry

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by on 02-09-2012 at 08:32 AM (1542 Views)
Quote Originally Posted by CraftsofthePast View Post


This is a traditional ring seen on the hands of brides in old photographs. Granulation and beaded wire decorate the amuletic round boxes that rattle when moved. They are hollow containers for seeds or small stones whose significance is not explained by the curators of the collections of Yemen Jewish silver jewelry of the period.

The wedding jewelry as the bridal dowry is discussed in the work by Ester Muchawsky-Schnapper, The Yemenites, Two Thousand Years of Jewish Culture, Jerusalem, 2000. The bride wealth was first the bride price that had been given to her father by the groom. It was given in silver or in goods that could be exchanged for silver. Secondly, her family added to that gift and then the father took the small treasure to the silversmith to create the wedding jewelry for his daughter.

A ring like this would have graced the two middle fingers of each hand, because in general, she wore her jewelry in pairs. From her head or veil, she had temple ornaments hanging just level with the top of her ears down to her shoulders. She wore a headband of silver, sometimes sewn onto a cloth backing. Her arms were decorated with a row of matching pairs of bracelets, and her hands often had rings on all fingers. She also wore anklets and toe rings.

Not every bride was fortunate enough to have a groom and a family who could provide her with such a rich dowry, but if her family could not afford to buy a lot of wedding finery, she could rent bridal jewelry from the local silversmith.

Sizes of finger bands: One is size 9 (18.8 mm), the other 9.5 (20.5 mm)
U.S. sizes. The round boxes on top of the bands measure about 15 mm diam x 17 mm high. (0.6 inch each dimension)

Please contact me with your questions.
http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/prod...epast/4251933/
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