Yemenite Filigree 2

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I knew Yemenite filigree was amazing and gorgeous, but didn’t realize until I was in Yemen that it was exclusively Jewish. I wanted to buy a silver Jambiya as a present and when I was on my search I spoke to the silver dealers about the history of silver in Yemen and learned some cool things. For example that it crash-dived in 53 when the Jews left, so much that it’s only recovering barely now, with the Jewish techniques being re-created, and that the techniques the Jews used were often kept strictly within the extended family, so much so that the tribes developed different styles, unique to certain family lines. One told me that if you wanted a ring, for example, you would bring three silver coins to the jeweler, one he would keep and the other two he would melt down and make your ring from.

I found some examples around my house, notably the Jambiya I got my brother.

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A Kiddush cup:

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A tube for carrying scrolls I got in the suq at Bab al-Melh:

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A yad:

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A Mezuzah (Deuteronomy 11:20):

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An earring, back and front:

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Its an amazing art form which I think has so many other uses outside of just jewelery, in my opinion. I’m gonna play around with it and see what happens.
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~ by Josh on March 10, 2008.

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