Antique Silver Snake Armlet, Bedouin Upper Arm Bracelet from the Arabian Peninsula
A gorgeous silver snake armlet or upper arm bracelet entirely made from silver alloy in the shape of a snake once worn by Bedouin women in Eastern and Central Arabia. The bracelet is worn high up on the arm under the elbow and usually, as in this case, have particles trapped inside. The function of those particles is to make the bracelet act as a rattle, warning passersby that a woman approaches, presumably so that they get a chance to look away in modesty.
The bracelet has silver caps at the end. The armlet has extensive chasing and repousse work with only the inside of the bracelet unadorned. This particular bracelet has eye motifs all around which protect the wearer from the evil eye.
It has a lovely shiny silky patina and wear that only comes with age.
- Inner circumference is 20.5 cm (8").
- Inner diameter is 7 cm (2 1/2").
- Width 2 cm (3/4") at its widest.
- Weight is 63 grams.
Just as an aside. The design of this bracelet is truly an ancient one. I happened across a Fatimid (11th - 12th century) gold bracelet at the Museum of Islamic Art looking remarkably similar to this one. Here is a picture of the said bracelet for your enjoyment:
There is a pair of similar armlets available in the shop: