Antique Berber Ottoman Era Head Band or Choker
A really interesting folk jewelry item that is from the Late Ottoman era and has the markings of Ottoman influence on North African jewelry. This was most likely part of head decoration for a Kabyle woman in Algeria. (see a picture of how this may have been worn) It is made of repousse elements sewn with some red and white glass beads and a central element which is a stylized hand of Fatima with faceted red glass at its center. It is peculiar that the elements on the left hand side are slightly different from the elements on the other side. I believe that this is its original make up as often women used what ever was available for adornment and asymmetry whether by design or accident is not uncommon in folk jewelry. The triangular central pendant may have been added later to adapt the headband into use as a choker, but the pendant is also aged. The metal elements have little or no silver.
The closure is two hook and eye clasps at the end of the cloth band. To work as a necklace, it has to fit a very petite neck of 32 cm (12 1/2") circumference. The cloth band is 2.5 cm (1")The depth of the band/necklace is 13 cm (5 1/2") with the central pendant.