Vintage Bedouin Hands of Fatima Bakelite Bead and Silver Bell Pendant Necklace.
Interesting to say the least. A combination of bells and hamsa symbols, along with the design and the use of red Bakelite beads that resemble another mystical gemstone (see below), tell the story of a powerful protective energy piece in most Middle Eastern tribal cultures. The silver content on this is low, a little higher than 800 (80% silver), which is common in this type of jewelry. Possibly a piece for the tourist trade of the time, I'm dating it anywhere between the turn of the century and the 1940's.
There is some age related wear, which can be seen by double clicking on the photos. One of the 4 dangling bells is broken (but smooth) and 3 of the 6 hands are missing 1 finger each (also smooth from age). The beads are spectacular, as is the feel and soft tinkling sound, of the whole piece. The silver is in remarkable condition for lower grade silver, it has a little darkening of age but it's age is consistent and not spotted.
To be honest, I'm not sure that this was intended to be used as a necklace but it does making a striking one! Other possibilities would be a very small belt or simply an amulet or talisman. I've done extensive searching and have not seen another quite like it.
The length is 20" (there is no clasp, just a continuous chain). The beads measure 15mm or 5/8" and have been Simichrome tested for Bakelite. The pendant measures 3 1/2" and the hands are another 3", so 6 1/2" total on the pendant with the hands. The bottom of the pendant measures 1 1/4" in diameter.
I've held onto this for quite some time because, for whatever reason, I just love to hold it from time to time...I'm relatively certain it's new owner will feel the same way.
Total weight is 90 grams.
Thank you so much for stopping by and as always, please feel free to contact me with any questions.
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