Here is an old Berber enamelled filigree ‘egg’ bead/pendant, or taguemout from Morocco. These beads were worn, strung on big necklaces made from amber or copal beads, coral, shells etc. This bead also has three rings on the bottom, from which old coins or other smaller pendants would originally have been hung. It is enamelled in green, red and yellow and the centre front is set with a large round red glass stone, facetted, but with the edges worn smooth over the years.
The enamelling is in good condition, considering the age of the piece, but is worn in several areas – please see all the photos. This bead is pierced through the centre from side to side. There is a small dent in the back of the bead and also two further holes have been pierced in it near to the sides (deliberately, I think, as they are in the centre of the circular filigree patterns, and probably to enable further small pendants or decorations to be hung from it). All this just adds to the charm of the piece, and in my opinion this ‘egg’ is much more attractive and characterful than some of the newer examples. This taguemout is strong and well-made and very wearable. It measures about 2 inches across and tests as sterling silver, using a Troy Test Kit.
For an example of how this ‘egg’ bead might have originally been worn, see p. 82 or p. 85 of ‘Arts and Crafts of Morocco’ by James F. Jereb. The weight is approximately 35 grams.
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