Antique Omani silver Amulet with stylized figures (fertility symbol)

Antique Omani silver Amulet (fertility symbol)
  • Description

 Scarce stylised Omani silver figure of a pregnant women? Although the representation of the human form is generally forbidden in Islam , the pre-Islamic tradition survived in the making of a variety of amulets.  Worn by children to protect against evil.  Worn by women as fertility symbols, to increase fertility and safeguard pregnancy and childbirth.  Weight 11 grams. Length 5 cm.

Ref 5 Mols: 'Another shape invested with magical protective powers is an abstracted human figure, the taswira. This amulet is unique to Oman. For children it was believed to ward off evil influences, while in the case of a woman, the taswira supposedly enhanced her fertility. 

Omani sivler amulet

Arab name: Taswira / Taswirah figures

Period: 1850-1950

Origin: Central and Northern Oman  (typically made in the interior)

References:
  1. Oman Adorned by Pauline Shelton  Robert Richmond Miranda Morris / Apex London 1997 p 107
  2. Ruth Hawley Silver the traditional Art of Oman (2000 edition) p 25
  3. Richardson & Dorr The craft heritage of Oman p 442 item 046 ;
  4. A tribute to Oman The Sultanates Yearbook: 1993/1994 "Safe and Sound" by Robert Richmond Apex p 192
  5. Catalog of the Oman exhibition in the Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam 2009 page 137 ; Disappearing treasures of Oman 1998 by Avelyn Foster 48 fig 34
  6. Traditional silver jewelry and handicrafts from Oman 2009 by Jean Greffioz p 68
  7. British Museum similar item  1950's Length: 8 centimetres (pendant) Width: 4.5 centimetres Museum reg: 2009,6023.220 Silver necklace with a flat pendant in the shape of a stylised figure of a pregnant woman. Lightly decorated with incised lines, circles and five central starburst motifs. The pendant was once fully gilded although much of the gold has faded. Such figural necklaces (taswirah) were worn by women to increase fertility and safeguard pregnancy and childbirth. They were also worn by children for amuletic purposes. They are popular in central and northern Oman and can be found in combination with other amuletic pendants on Omani necklaces
  8. The National Museum of Oman Highlights published by Scala Arts & Heritage publishers in  2016 page 45