Antique Berber Gold Gilt Silver Choker Bib Necklace with Crescent Moons and Hands of Fatima
A Shariya necklace most likely from Djerba, Tunisia. It is quite old from the early 20th century done in silver and coated with gold. This beautiful necklace was worn only on special occasions and it is rare to find one these days. You can see a similar example in Jewellery from the Orient, treasures from the Bir Collection.
The necklace is quite ornate with so many elements including crescent moons and hands of Fatima executed in filigree. There are also repousse elements sewn on fabric and other repousse dangles looking like the shafts of barley, thus the name of the necklace: Shariya (sha'ir means barley).
the Shariya was very popular in Libya as well as Southern Tunisia and was worn even in Egypt and Sudan. They are getting hard to find today, especially the older ones, because they are often recycled, melted by silversmiths to make new pieces. This necklace luckily escaped this fate. It did not escape unscathed though. If you notice, a lot of the repousse elements have depressions, as do the triangle finials. There are a couple of barley dangles missing. There is also a glass cabochon and two circular dangles missing from the rightmost crescent and a circular dangle missing from the hand of Fatima also on the right. Three dangles on the middle hand of Fatima are damaged. Despite this, this proud necklace has survived the melting pot and is absolutely lovely to wear.
- Length of the fabric including the black satin attachments is 61 cm (24")
- The drop is 12.5 cm (5")
- Weight is 69.8 g