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Spectacular old silver and enamel bracelet set with colored glass stones. This truly ethnographic bracelet is from Algeria and is most likely 75 to a hundred years old. The unique curved and flanged design of the cuff is incised with pecked decorative patterning which is characteristic of North African jewelry. Also characteristic are the raised enamel designs in green,ocher, and red. The central red glass cabochon sits on top of an enameled medallion as do the green glass cabochons on either side. There has been some loss of enamel over time but much of it is still intact. I cannot say with certainty what the exact purity of the silver is but I am sure it is quite high as it shows a lovely patina. The flanges are not quite symmetrical and there has been a repair to one side at some time in the distant past. If you look carefully at the close up of the interior you can see that the enameled piece had come loose and that a fix was made. It is quite secure but I would not attempt to change the shape of this bracelet or force it to fit. Repairs, especially old ones, I think are a testament to how "prized" a piece was and from a time when things were not so casually discarded. Another detail about this bracelet are the little knobs at the top and bottom of the terminals. These are fairly worn but are a design element often found (sometimes very large and ornate)in jewelry from North Africa. 1 1/16" at the center and flares out to 1 3/4" at the terminals. Inside dimension is 5 5/8" with a gap of 1 1/4". Weighs 48.5 grams. Slightly flexible. Ideal for a 6.5 inch wrist. A true treasure from the Sahara.
- Listed on Nov 9, 2012
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