Two pairs of antique Silver Omani Ghalamiyat earrings with different finials

Silver Omani Ghalamiyat earrings
  • Description

Two scarce pairs of scarce of Ghalamiyat earrings. The earrings are of an ancient design. With 2 shapes of finials: rectangular and leaf shaped / tear drop. The leaf / tear-drop shaped finials are rare and the rectangular finials are common. For the leaf / tear-drop shaped version see Omani Silver Ruth Hawley 1978 section on earrings. Total weight 460 grams. 46 cm long. Rectangular finial: 6 cm leaf shaped finial 4 cm Individual earrings are approx 11 cm long and weigh approx 50-58 grams. Pair of silver earrings (ghalamiyat) consisting of a large ovoid bead with a raised central band decorated with silver bosses. The ovoid bead is further ornamented with beaded and twisted silver wire wrapped around its circumference. A pyramid of silver balls ending with a bead of mulberry granulation hangs from the bottom tip of the ovoid bead. Soldered to the top is a plain round silver hook. These earrings are too heavy to be hung from pierced earlobes. Rather, for everyday wear they are hung from a loop of leather (shinag) which went right around the ear.  For special occasions, the earrings are hooked from the loops of a silver head-strap (mishill)

Antique Omani silver earrings

Antique Omani silver earrings

Arab names: Ghalamiyat  / Galamiyat  (Earrrings)

Period: 1850-1950

Origin:Worn by Omani women in Central and Northern Oman

References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond Miranda Morris  / Apex London 1997 p 165
  2. Omani Silver Ruth Hawley 1978 section earrings (no pagination)
  3. Craft heritage of Oman Neil Richardson & Maria Dorr Part two p 438 fig 17 p 439 fig 23
  4. Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster p 58 fig 49 ; Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz 36
  5. British Museum on-line collection number 2009,6023.174-175 has the same earrings length 11 cm Weight 57 and 58 grams. Pair of silver earrings (ghalamiyat) consisting of a large ovoid bead with a raised central band decorated with silver bosses. The ovoid bead is further ornamented with beaded and twisted silver wire wrapped around its circumference. A pyramid of silver balls ending with a bead of mulberry granulation hangs from the bottom tip of the ovoid bead. Soldered to the top is a plain round silver hook. These earrings are too heavy to be hung from pierced earlobes. Rather, for everyday wear they are hung from a loop of leather (shinag) which went right around the ear. For special occasions, the earrings are hooked from the loops of a silver head-strap (mishill, see for example 2009,6023.186-187) Worn by the Bedouin women of Central Oman
  6. British Museum also has similar chains ref 2009,6023.186-187 length 35,5 and 37,5 cm A pair of silver head-bands or head-chains (mishill, literally 'support') used to support heavy ear-rings or ear pendants (ghalamiyyah). Each head-chain is made of six strands of box-chains (three on each side, which are connected in the centre by a fastener made of three soldered figure-of-eight loops) On one end of the head-chain is a large silver hoop, used to suspend an ear-ring, and a tear-drop shaped pendant acts as a decorative counterweight on the other end. The tear-drop is decorated with beaded wire. Worn by Bedouin women in Northern and Central Oman 
  7. Islamic Art in Oman page 347
  8. Oman and its Renaissance  by Sir Donald Hawley Stacey International London 1987 page 138 photo similar earrings
  9. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman by Jean Greffioz 2009 (privately published) page 36 fig 3.4 has photo with a similar item.
  10. The Heritage of Oman by Peter Vine Immel Publishing 1995 page 56 example of a similar prehistoric silver earring found in Oman
  11. Oman Faces and places, articles from PDO News magazine 2009 page 14 photo of a similar prehistoric earring found in Oman