Featured More Mauritanian beads?

Discussion in 'Jewelry' started by KSW, Sep 6, 2022.

  1. KSW

    KSW Well-Known Member

    A while ago I showed some inlaid beads with swirls that @Any Jewelry kindly identified as Mauritanian. Are these dotty inlay beads likely the same please?
    Thankyou for looking :)
    AJ no hurry if you are not feeling up to looking. They will wait :)

    82A90D6B-F859-4D4D-AB2C-AE721F658D1E.jpeg 1D22B0C9-749F-4D00-9CFF-F409E07275E7.jpeg 436CA92B-B4C6-4ED8-964E-7842DCDB38C5.jpeg
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2022
  2. reader

    reader Well-Known Member

    KSW and Any Jewelry like this.
  3. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Yes, Yemen.:happy: They make black coral beads with 'silver' inlay, but also black faturan beads with the same inlay. Both are much more valuable than Mauritanian wooden beads.

    It looks like yours are black coral, I think I see some brown.
    Yemeni black coral was found in the waters around the island of Socotra ("the most alien place on earth"). Socotra lies in the Indian Ocean and has the same type of black 'akar bahar' coral as Indonesia, on the other side of the Indian Ocean. That means that you can see brown layering or striation, like in the detail of one of my Yemeni necklaces below:


    The silvertone beads on yours were probably imported from nearby India, an important source of trade goods in Yemen. The 'cage' beads on mine were made in southern Yemen.
    The construction of your necklace, a string of beads with chains and no end cones, is southern Yemeni, just like mine:


    (The silver 'cage' beads have been cleaned since.:shame:)

    Because these inlaid coral beads are also used for tesbih, prayer bead strings, they are also known as Yemeni prayer beads.

    Should you ever come across Yemeni black faturan beads, they are easy to recognize. They are an even black colour, which the coral ones aren't, and because they are bakelite mixed with native frankincense, they smell of incense.
    I have a Yemeni 'silver' inlaid black faturan tesbih, but can't find a photo of it.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2022
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  4. KSW

    KSW Well-Known Member

    Wow, you are amazing AJ! I would have laid money that they were wooden until I’ve looked closely through a loupe. I’m glad my £2.50 was well spent though :hilarious:. I would never ever have guessed coral!
    Is it possible to date them?
    Thankyou so much :kiss:
    reader and Any Jewelry like this.
  5. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Yours are early 20th, but could have been assembled at a later date, given the other beads. Ethnic jewellery is often recycled, bits replaced, or made into another necklace, etc.
    KSW and reader like this.
  6. reader

    reader Well-Known Member

    You are amazing AJ and hope all is well.
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