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Silver, Coral & Enamel Cloak Pin
Berber People, Algeria
19th century

height: 13cm, width: 8.3cm, weight: 161g

This silver cloak pin or fastener from the Berber people of the Greater Kabylia region of Algeria, northern Africa, is of silver decorated with bright yellow, blue
and green enamel and set with red coral cabochons and applied silver spheres. Designed to attach a cloak across the shoulders, it also doubled as a breast
jewel. Prolongeau-Wade (2008, p. 194) says that such an item was offered on the occasion of the birth of a first son.

It is of rounded form with a central pin that is itself set with coral in a box setting.

Eight enamelled silver pendant dangles each set with coral are suspended from the fastener.

The reverse of the fastener is decorated with a roundel of blue and yellow enamel.

A loop at the top of the fastener would allow it to be won as a pendant.

See Seiwert (2009, p. 35 and the cover) for similar examples, and also Prolongeau-Wade (2008, p. 194), and van Cutsem &  Magliani (2010, p. 35).

The fastener is in fine condition. One pendant dangle is missing however and the eyelets of two have come away and so these have been re-attached via
small holes drilled into the fastener itself. These losses are consistent with the age and use of the item. But otherwise, it is in a stable and wearable condition.
It is bright and decorative.

van Cutsem, A., & M. Magliani, Powerful Headdresses: Africa-Asia: The Ira Brind Collection, 5 Continents, 2010.
Prolongeau-Wade, S.,
Voyage des au Pays Fibules, Editions du Regard, 2008.
Seiwert, W.D.,
Jewellery from the Orient: Treasures from the Bir Collection, Arnoldsche Art Publishers, 2009.

Provenance: UK art market

Inventory no.: 4031 SOLD

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