Featured I need help on whatever this is..

Discussion in 'Tribal Art' started by KevinTN, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. KevinTN

    KevinTN Member

    [​IMG]
    This has been on my desk for years because I don't know what it is. It's unmarked on the back and nonmagnetic. I don't know if it's old or made to look old. I think it's supposed to represent the moon.
    Please excuse my ignorance. Any help would be appreciated.

    Kevin
     
  2. KingofThings

    KingofThings 'Illiteracy is a terrible thing to waist' - MHH

    Maybe Komo has a clue.
     
    Joshua Brown likes this.
  3. terry5732

    terry5732 Well-Known Member

    More like an ulu than the moon

    The tone looks like nickel silver
     
  4. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    can't say i recognize it as any NA design...
    looks like a man in a fancy jacket..
     
  5. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    It is a Tuareg necklace from Saharan North Africa. It could have been made anytime between the 50s and now. It is probably low grade silver, handmade by a Tuareg silversmith who was trained by his father. Silversmith families can trace the craft back for countless generations.
    Every engraved design has a meaning.
    The diagonal stripes symbolise the movement of the wind on the sand in the Sahara. A guide in the desert will follow the direction of the lines in the sand to avoid walking head on into the wind.
    The small circles are chameleon eyes, which stand for luck during travel. They surround larger circles, which are jackals, jackals are enemies of the Tuareg because they attack and eat goats. In this case the chameleon eyes protect the travelling Tuareg against the jackal.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  6. KevinTN

    KevinTN Member

    WOW..Thank you for taking the time in writing such a detailed description. It's no wonder I couldn't research it, I was using North America as the origin. If you ever write a book about identification, I will add it to my library. I'm glad it remained on my desk and didn't end up in the junk pile. I will print your response and keep it with it.
    Thank you,
    Kevin
     
  7. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Glad to have been of help. I hope you will keep the necklace on your desk and enjoy it. And maybe a bit more now that you know more about it.
    By the way, most necklaces like this one used to be given by fathers to their sons, when they were ready to travel on their own. The symbols were part of the fatherly advice and blessing.
     
    cxgirl, Cindy MotZ, Kenneth and 5 others like this.
  8. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Couldn't find a photo of a Tuareg with your kind of necklace, but this one has a necklace in the style of Agadez, Niger. That is the large cross-like pendant.
    From a rich family, by the looks of it. The abundance of dark indigo indicates he is an aristocrat.
    [​IMG]
     
    kyratango, cxgirl, Cindy MotZ and 6 others like this.
  9. KevinTN

    KevinTN Member

    Thanks again..I'm definitely not selling because I can't remember if my mom gave it to me as a gift or just to research it online. Like I said, I've had it for years. I will share the information you provided with her.

    Thanks,
    Kevin
     
  10. KingofThings

    KingofThings 'Illiteracy is a terrible thing to waist' - MHH

    WOW INDEED!!!!!
    Thanks! :)
    I love to learn such things. :)
     
    cxgirl, Christmasjoy and Any Jewelry like this.
  11. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

    Any idea of silver content on such things? I have a very heavy North African (Berber?) dowry bracelet that is virtually identical in style to this one in the linked ebay listing. The seller seems to indicate high grade silver and their asking price reflects this. I find a couple other sellers listing similar as sterling. I always understood these to be low grade and the fact that my bracelet doesn't tarnish much would seem to confirm this. I also note that these are not generally selling on ebay which would tend to confirm what I suspect.

    http://www.ebay.ie/itm/262178318973
     
    Christmasjoy and KingofThings like this.
  12. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    That bracelet is Moroccan Berber from the High Atlas. The silver grade can be different because there is not one single manufacturer. If yours is marked you can look up the mark on:
    http://hallmarkwiki.com/?key=&country=Morocco&province=&p=0

    For a little more background info, here is a much more modest one in our shop, not marked, but tests as .800 which is the most common fineness in Morocco.
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/507413961/berber-bangle-bracelet-morocco-atlas?ref=shop_home_active_2
    Bracelets like that in sterling are likely to have been made for the tourist trade, or the seller is just making it up.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  13. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

    Thanks! My bracelet may have the same mark as the one I linked to. Looks to be the 1894 star mark according to the seller. Will have to check if I can find out what I did with it .... LOL! I see that is just a mark for silver so would need to test for fineness anyway. I bought mine from a 5 day estate sale on the last day for $3.00 since no one knew what it was.
     
  14. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Even if it is the usual .800, you got more than a bargain! Congratulations, those are the finds we all want.
     
  15. Kenneth

    Kenneth Member

    Any Jewelry, I am not the author of the thread, but it was very interesting and useful to read your information. Thank you.
     
  16. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Pleasure Kenneth. I am one of the people on the forum for information on symbolism, especially non-Western.
    The Tuareg are among the peoples I have a soft spot for. It started as a little girl, when I read about the very good position of Tuareg women. And of course the men look spectacular:).
    Then I heard an interview with a British travelwriter, who visited parts of the world most people never get to see, in his wheelchair. He said the Tuareg girls were the only ones in the world who ever flirted with him. Elsewhere he was just a 'guy in a wheelchair', an object, or even a problem. The Tuareg never made him feel that way, he was more at home with them then in Britain.
    He also said the Tuareg turned everything they saw around them into poetry, making impromptu poems about the beauty of rocks, lizards, cloud formations.... a wheelchair....
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
    kyratango, cxgirl, Kenneth and 3 others like this.
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