AUD $380.00

Daghestani, Nielloed Silver Bracelet


Here's a comfortable "nielloed" silver bracelet from the Caucasus, (on the western shores of the Caspian Sea) for a smallish wrist. This bracelet is modelled as a wristwatch, even down to having a rudimentary (but static) winder. It is said these were worn for status by those who were not powerful enough to have a real watch, in effect imitating officials and officers.

The smooth silver faces have been gently carved creating a border design of silver crosses, enclosed in these borders are squares with radiating foliage rosettes. These raised designs have had their recessed background "carved out" then filled in with a black inlay called "niello" that creates the contrast that emphasizes the design. 

This is genuine "niello" as described, not just an oxidizing or staining process, as you sometimes find.

Also this bracelet is in pretty good condition, with some very minor wear around the hinges.

The  29 mm round floral watch face would appear to have a hinged lid to protect the glass face, however, this is bluffing and doesn't actually open ! As you only find this when you try it, the bystander wouldn't know.

Remember that true old niello work often loses some of its inlay with knocks over the years. So if you run your finger nail over the surface you'll find some tiny grooves where this has happened, it's not a problem, more of a conversation subject.

The 19 mm side "arms" are hinged on either side of the face and have a pin at the back that slides to open/lock with a short "loop in loop" chain with a faded soft orange, old Red Coral bead as a flourish.

I used to think these were from Bukhara, and they may be, but "nielloed" designs like these have probably travelled further around the Caspian from Daghestan (A Russian friend Lisa described it as "severnaja chern" or the northern darkness) then across Iran and Afghanistan all the way to us. 

It has a rich deep silver tone with a good contrast and shouldn't need a polish for ages, but if you decide to then carefully use a dry "Silver Polishing Cloth" on it, to bring up the silver.

Age: Mid 20th Century.

Size: For a wrist about 48 mm x 53 mm.

Weight:  56 grams.