Vintage Art Deco Iraqi Silver and Niello Snake Bracelet
An elegant and timeless piece of jewelry, made by Mandean silversmiths, this beauty has the signature of its maker Abed on the body as well as various decorations depicting the life of the Marsh Arabs, an Iraqi distinct group whose unique way of life by the river is disappearing. Boats, palm trees and the straw houses of the boat people are etched on the silver and filled with niello. Some of the niello is missing, but otherwise in good vintage condition. This type of bracelet was a favorite with British soldiers stationed in Iraq, to take home in the 1930s and 40s.
- Total length tip of head to tip of the tail is 26.5 cm (10 1/2").
- Inner circumference is 19 cm (7 1/2").
- Inner diameter is 6.5 cm (2 1/2").
- Width is 0.7 cm (just over 1/4") at its widest.
- Weight is 20.8 g.
The work with niello was the speciality of Mandeans, an ethnoreligious group thought to be indigenous to the Levant and Mesopotamia. The Mandeans lived by the banks of rivers and excelled in silversmithing techniques, especially fine niello.