Obj. ID: 37099
Sacred and Ritual Objects Bride's Ornament, Tunis, circa 1900
The following description was prepared by William Gross:
From earliest times, man has tried to protect himself from misfortune by the use of objects which he considered holy or otherwise (e.g., magically) potent. Amulets and talismans are items generally worn around the neck or wrist, carried in a pocket or purse or hung on a wall. They are meant to protect or aid those who carried or wore them. The Hebrew word for amulet, kame‘a, has the root meaning "to bind". Jewish amulets are usually comprised of texts (either letters or graphic symbols) that are inscribed on some sort of material; some may also contain plant matter or precious stones. The texts of amulets usually include holy names that are believed to have the ability to affect reality, along with incantations summoning angels or other magical powers. For the most part, an amulet has a specific purpose: to ease childbirth, facilitate recovery from illness, improve one’s livelihood, and so on, but in the modern world many are also made for general protection.
A raher ornate and heavy hair ornament, this piece of jewelry is comprised bo both gold elements at top and bottom and in between strings of trangular beads made fromthe Tunisian aromatic amalgam call amberpaste. Such beads are widely used in Tunisia, made from amgergis and other aromatics. The upper most element contains the symbols of the Hamsa against the evil eye, fish for fertility and the star and crescent. The object was hung from a textile wrapped around the woman's head to support this and other pieces of jewelry. The top element and some of the bottom ones carry gold hallmarks used between 1856 - 1905. The top element is the same design as that used on Gross Family Collection 027.001.123.
C | Crescent and star
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Floral motif
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Flower
F | Fish | Two fish