Berber Silver and Enamel Pendant


Beautiful antique Berber silver and enamel pendant, done in the traditional Berber style.  The Berber people of Mocorro made some absolutely gorgeous jewelry, and one of our favorite styles are these high-quality silver pieces with a special black enamel.  Berber craftsman carve intricate designs into this sheets of silver, and then fill those spaces with a special chemical mix that turns black and gives these pendants their distinctive appearance. 

The Berber peoples have been utilizing this technique since at least the 18th century.  And while we don't think this piece is more than 100 years old (or so -- it's hard to know for certain), it carries on the rich craft tradition of these indigenous Moroccan people.  This is a particularly fine example, with its larger than usual size and round shape (many of these pendants are square).  We've seen archival images of Berber women wearing these beautiful pendants as part of a ceremonial headdress such as in this picture:  While they look like earrings, they are actually attached to a band around the head.   

The enamel is in near perfect condition, and the silver shows just the right amount of wear you want to see in a vintage piece, but is in remarkably good condition.  (Indeed, one of our Moroccan friends was wearing a virtually identical piece as his "show piece" for attracting new customers.)  The pendant measures 75 mm wide and 87 mm tall, not including the tassels, which add an extra 25 mm or so.  It weighs 45 grams. 

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