Antique Brass Egyptian Arousa Veil Accessory

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This curious item is a hard to find veil accessory from the late 19th century - early 20th century in Egypt.  It is called Arousa al Burka or arousat al burqa.  It is made of a brass cylinder which has three thin serrated disks fused at right angles around it. It has a form of gold gilt which has worn out in many parts. The arousa is in good condition but for some minor dents.

The arousa is part of what urban women wore to cover their face.  The arousa was worn over the nose making a space between the headband and the veil for the eyes on either side. The veil itself was often see through or net like. You can see how this would have looked from this antique tinted photo post card: 

 

"Cairo - Native Woman" ~ collection of coloured postcards by Lehnert & Landrock | ca. early 1900s

The arousa (in Arabic meaning bride), once ubiquitous is now hard to find. It's an interesting item for a costume or jewelry collector.

  • Length 8 cm (3 1/8")
  • Diameter 2.2 cm (7/8")
  • Outer discs protrude 7 mm (1/4") from cylinder
  • Weight 27.6 g

 

 

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