I mean, I did some free browsing, and was immediately matched with a variety of metal lovin’ ladies who any guy would be lucky to bring home to meet his mother.
For example: Don’t feel left out, ladies — there are some righteous dudes on the site, too: Now, I admit: my initial assessment of the site may be unfair.
The bird in the middle is 1 1/2 inches across and 1 inch tall. There are two carved stone leaves attached as well, each one measuring 2 1/2 inches long. It was quite a surprise to see something so curious. I generally do that a bit by rubbing silver with my hands, and also rubbing with a polishing cloth with just the tiniest amount of "rouge" on it. The necklace is slightly over 15 inches long, closed with a silver turtle that fits through a loop like a button. I have strung them on an Indian silver cord/necklace so that there is empty space and the layers of the beads can be seen from the sides. The description in the book says "Saudi Arabia, Najd (Bedouin). These are richly coloured, stocky, attractive antique beads of Nigerian coral. The bead in the preview image on the left is 15/16 inches long and 9/16 inch in diameter. This is the last strand of pre Columbian "bullet" beads (from the Tairona people of Colombia) that were in my personal collection for a number of years, each strand being quite different from each other. The ring has a carnelian stone as a centerpiece - it has a hole going into it so was probably a small pendant or a repolished part of a bead. The inside of the necklace is 17 1/4 inches around. The piece is firmly closed with a loop at the back. This is a rather stupendous necklace with beads and an amulet from Afghanistan. This necklace is too large for me to wear but with a little bit of bravery and the right outfit beneath, it could look pretty great.
The 4 inch long amulet opens at one end but is empty. What I love the most though are the pendants cut from sheet silver with decorative lines on them - illustrating birds fish, people, etc. The chain is 21 inches long and tied with cord at the back so that it slips over the head. There are African silver flying saucer beads at the back. I just went through them checking how many layers each has. It is similar to the pieces on page 31 of "A World of Necklaces" made from a 1875 silver 5 Franc coin from the Republique Francaise. The coin is 1 1/2 inches across and the entire piece is 4 1/2 inches long. The bracelets with projections are solid and heavy to wear. The silver spacer beads are from Ethiopia, and the central pendant is a silver kitab (which could use some cleaning) from the Moors at the border of Mauritania and Morocco. This necklace goes around 17 1/2 inches long with pre Columbian stone spacer beads. These two antique Moroccan silver rings are sold together. The necklace hasn't been buffed for a while so could use a light polishing. (to see it full size click here) It is strung on a leather cord which can be easily untied. The beads are still on the same white string as when I bought them.
Theends of the geometrically decorative pieces are 1 1/8 inch square. That is why the shape is wider than an average wrist would be. Somebody must have tried to change the size which you cannot do with a sandcast piece as it has no flexible grain to the silver - and it was once broken and repaired. The inside of the bracelet is 2 1/8 inches by 1 1/2 inches. The piece of the copper for the shape of the head is a flat piece which has a piece of silver coloured material soldered onto it as a face. It has been around a while, worn and banged up a bit with the colour altered by time... The mask is 2 3/4 inches tall and 2 1/4 inches at the widest. There are four different images on the coins and you can check a close-up here. The second necklace is 20 inches long and has a Moroccan box pendant 1 1/2 by 5/8 inches. The coral is a richer colour than it appears in the photo. It is quite an unusual combination and I was wondering if it was a slightly modern interpretation of traditional Mexico. This is a very attractive amulet necklace from the mid-East. The colours of these antique Vaseline beads are richer than the photo shows. All that I know is that it is very attractive and rather complex to make. The ring in the preview photo on the left is size 9.5. It is quite heavy and shipping will cost more than usual. The colours of the shell are rich with shots of green and pink/purple.
The inside of the bracelet is 2 1/2 inches at the widest. It needs to fit quite closely so do measure against a close fitting bracelet that you have. The silver chain necklace is 25 inches long and from it hang two groups of silver bells as well as some milagros of chickens, birds and some symbolic shapes that make me think of images from the State of Tlaxcala. I have never worn it, it just sat in one of my display cases so has never been cleaned or brightened up. It is a great combination of colours (in my opinion anyway) and is cheerful to wear. I collected these 6 and 7 layer Venetian chevrons over 15 years or so, generally buying one or two at a time. You can see a bracelet very similar to this one on page 136 of "A World of Bracelets". This ring came out of Iran - it certainly needs some polishing on the silver. I could never wear it as it is much too large for me (size 9.5) but I had it in a display case so that I could admire it. The necklace weighs 65.9 grams so has the weight to sit nicely.
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I have finally created a page for finished items coming straight from collections (mine and others). I am not sure what material the piece is made from - it has been beautifully and richly painted and is in a graceful pose. This 9 1/2 inch tall statue is named Baba Egum who represents all of the orishas or deities within its powers.
When wearing this you are travelling with magic coming from the past and being brought into the modern world. One the second image you can see that a small amount of carving is missing from immediately under the upper bar. I still don't know how this piece was used so the new owner might have some serious research to do. This is too small for me to wear (I can slip it on but it doesn't sit comfortably) so it has sat in its sculptural way in a display case along with other African silver. There are 6 African silver rings here - in the book "Africa Adorned" on page 173 they say: "Rings, pendants and hair ornaments seen in the savannah regions today have been influenced by designs that prevailed in the days of the great empires. This statue was originally brought from Brazil by a dealer/collector. Many dances and celebrations are involved including the dances of the Baba Egum.
I still have to find my notes and check what these beads had cost me before I can price them. This antique silver Chinese butterfly pendant is blackened as it has been hanging on a hook on my wall for years. These bracelets show the flawless mastery of nielloware and engraving achieved by artisans in the past. This style of bracelet is shown on page 34 of "A World of Bracelets." The author wrote "Mauritania. I never strung it up (it has a stringing hole big enough for a good sized cord) but just had it in a display case. #2 is of the same style as the fibulas on page 19 of "A World of Necklaces." "Morocco, Western Anti-Atlas Mountains. (The "worm" technique is characteristic of Ida ou Semlal jewellery)" This single fibula is 7 inches long and 3 7/8 inches at the widest. According to Liu "The degree of polish and intensity of colour greatly determine the value of Tairona beads and amulets; those that have been highly polished are considered vivo or live, while beads with a dull finish and muted colours are considered muerte or dead." 00. The crosses are different shapes representing different communities - you can see some descriptions in the book "Africa Adorned". The beads go around 27 1/2 inches and look quite stupendous. This gorgeous bracelet is from the Golden Triangle most likely worn by the Hmong or Yao. This is the last of a group of Ethiopian crosses that I kept from my own collection.
A good cleaning will bring up the gleam of the silver, though I wouldn't dip it, just use a polishing cloth so that the recessed parts are contrasted in black. I bought these banded agate beads in 2004 when the Dalai Lama was visiting Toronto, Canada. This is an agate and crystal necklace from Africa that I just couldn't bear to sell. This is a ridiculously huge and heavy strand of pre Columbian greenstone beads and whorls that has been sitting in one of my display cases. You can see a similar pair of earrings on page 47 of "A World of Earrings". This is an attractive pair of silver antique Tuareg earrings (they need a cleaning as they have tarnished in the display case) - you can see similar ones in "A World of Earrings" on page 41. These three antique amulet pendants come from the area of Iran in the Mid-East. #2 is a 3-dimensional pendant with patterning on both sides, and a small amount of writing on the top of one side. #3 is 2 1/8 inches tall and has writing on both sides. The half-spheres resemble nails which, like any pointed object, ward off the evil eye." The bracelets were not made as a pair and each has its own character. Women here display several pairs of their favourite jewels, the mizam which are decorated with balls and pyramids. I love the strength of the design elements on it, as well as the little bit of stamped writing at the top of each piece. This type of jewellery is traditional in the Gabes region." This piece is 5 7/8 inches tall, very graceful and becoming a rare style. Northern Africa was colonized by Rome very early on, and has kept the use and shape of antique jewellery. The larger bead on one side of the pendant is 1 5/8 inches long and 1 1/4 inch in diameter. The bracelet has been hammered from solid silver so that it has six sides. I had a good variety of old pieces all made of good silver.
If I would restring this, I would use a quiet colour instead of these multicoloured ancient Roman or Islamic glass beads. She lives at the gate of the graveyard and looks over the dead.
These are the only skinny ones that I have - they are quite perfect, two in crystal and two in carnelian. The lingham (which opens by sliding the top part up) is 3 7/8 inches wide - the outer edges of the bottom decoration are 4 1/4 inches across. There are three tiny ones in delicate colours as well as one representing Bes (the protector of women and children) which is 9/16 inches tall. The statue Iansa illustrated here is the Orisha of storms, thunder, lightning and wind.