Early Gold Plated Brass Egyptian Kirdan Bib Necklace

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This is a now rare Egyptian kirdan worn by peasant and lower middle class women in Cairo and other Egyptian cities.  This style of jewelry is known as the "sha'abi" or popular style and was worn from the 1920s to the 1950s.  Rather than wear the expensive 21 carat gold versions, women had these brass or low silver heavily gold plated jewelry known as dahab kishra (gold plate) made as mentioned by Azza Fahmy in her book Enchanted Jewelry of Egypt.  

The necklace has design echoes from the old Pharaonic past. It is delicate and made of three link chains around the central sphynx element.  The top chain is repousse domes linked together. This is followed by two rows of flat heart chains.  From the bottom hanging from fine chains are small faux Ottoman coin pendants. The effect is charming and quite dramatic.

The necklace closes with a hook and eye mechanism and has three rings on one side to fit the hook on the other side and allow you to adjust the length of the chain according to your liking. The bib necklace is in good condition with only minor wear to the gold plate.

  • Depth of bib is is 8.5 cm ( 3 3/8").
  • Length is variable according to three rings: 36-39-41 cm (14 1/2 - 15 1/4- 16 1/4").
  • Weight is 33.4 g.

 

 

 

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