Silver Treasures: A Wealth of Skill and Craftsmanship

Discover some of the most exquisite pieces, with details and artistry shaped by generations of tradition, on display at the Traditional Jewellery House in Al Shindagha Museum.

By Al Shindagha Museum

Hirz (Necklace)Al Shindagha Museum

Jewellery is an important aspect of personal adornment and cultural identity. There is a long history of jewellery and adornment in Dubai, marked with generations of regional and cross-cultural influences in the traditional styles worn in the twentieth century.

Daqqah (Necklace)Al Shindagha Museum

Dubai’s role as a historical trading port transformed precious materials, skills and influences into an important economic activity. The materials for jewellery were rarely used in isolation and often combined to create unique pieces, symbolic of these historic networks and interaction.

Bu Al-Shouk (Bracelet)Al Shindagha Museum

Silver was highly valued in Dubai. It was attractive and was used as portable wealth. In the event of misfortune, the wearer could always sell their silver.

Shaghab (Earrings)Al Shindagha Museum

Silver used for new jewellery often came from melting down older pieces. This melting of new and old makes traditional silver pieces extremely difficult to date.

Khalakheel (Anklets)Al Shindagha Museum

Khalakheel
Silver rigid hinged traditional anklets called the Khalakeel traditionally worn by Emirati girls and women in paired sets.

Decorated entirely with intricate chased designs including hatched lines, circles, floral, vegetal and geometric motifs,

the anklet is hollow, tubular and has a flat rectangular front section highlighted with a gold-leaf decoration.

Khelkhal (Anklet)Al Shindagha Museum

Another design of the traditional anklets Khalakeel.

The flat rectangular front section of this hollow and tubular anklet, is beautifully decorated with intricate chased and punched designs including hatched lines, circles, floral, vegetal and geometric motifs.

Designed to open from the front, its clasp is locked with a solid silver pin.

Hollow Silver Bracelets Hollow Silver BraceletsAl Shindagha Museum

Hollow Silver Bracelets
Decorated bracelets such as these were traditionally worn by the women in the region.

These bracelets are intricately styled with embossed (chased) designs, including hatched lines, circles, floral and vegetal motifs.

Hollow Silver BraceletsAl Shindagha Museum

They have small stones inside them, that rattle when worn.

Bu Al-Shouk (Bracelet)Al Shindagha Museum

Bu Al-Shouk
A pair of traditional silver cuff bracelets.

These bracelets are designed with spikes at the centre and chased rope patterns on the sides.

Silver RingsAl Shindagha Museum

Set of Silver Rings Rings with different styles of bezels were worn by women in the Emirates on different fingers.

Shahid
A traditional silver ring, usually worn on the right index finger.

Shahid (Ring)Al Shindagha Museum

These rings feature a tear drop designed head,

Shahid (Ring)Al Shindagha Museum

with beautiful hatch lines, circular or floral patterns.

The entire band features beaded wire decorations.

Marami (Ring)Al Shindagha Museum

Marami
A traditional silver ring, usually worn on the middle finger by Emirati women.

Silver RingsAl Shindagha Museum

These rings feature a square diagonally placed on the band and are designed with hatched lines, floral and geometric patterns.

Shaghab (Earrings)Al Shindagha Museum

Shaghab
A pair of silver earrings, consisting of a large ovoid bead decorated with a bead and twisted rope pattern at the centre.

Daqqah (Necklace)Al Shindagha Museum

Diqqah
This bedouin necklace consists of silver and bead elements strung on a chain made of rope and wire.

Traditional silver jewellery was made up of large, chunky pieces, with fine decorations, filigree work and 3D ornaments.

Decorative silver rectangular elements, intricately designed with gold and silver chased patterns are strung on a rope chain.

Maria Theresa ThalerAl Shindagha Museum

European silver was used to make the Maria Theresa Thaler, known locally as the Riyal faransi coin, which was common currency around Arabia until the 1960s. These coins were known as some of the purest sources of silver for jewellery.

Maria Theresa ThalerAl Shindagha Museum

This coin was originally minted in Austria from 1751 to 1780. It was later used as trading currency minted up until 1958. Weighing exactly 28.0668 grams, the thaler contains 83.33% silver; its standards of weight and purity were strictly maintained.

Hirz (Necklace)Al Shindagha Museum

Hirz
A beautiful silver coin necklace that features Maria Theresa thaler coins.

Maria Theresa thaler coins are strung onto a textile string along with silver beads.

The large central pendant features a rectangular pendant decorated with finely wrought patterns.

Satami (Necklace)Al Shindagha Museum

Satami
A silver coin necklace with a large central pendant designed with a big flower motif along with geometric patterns intricately inscribed on its surface.

In addition to being cast into new pieces, coins like Maria Theresa thalers and Indian rupees were readily used as decorative elements, as seen in this beautiful piece.

These coins were strung onto a textile string along with silver beads.

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