AUD $140.00

Dangly Prayer Box Pendant.

Basically a decorated hollow triangular silver "False Prayer Box" with dangles on "loop in loop" chains, worn originally pinned to the shoulder or headdress. It is related to the silver prayer box tradition that preceded the major religions and was absorbed by them as they took over, animist magical items were worn later being replaced by santioned Koranic/Buddhist prayers and blessings. These were worn for protection against Evil and its misfortunes and have ultimately been replaced by boxes used in jewellery that don't open but look like Prayer Boxes and luckily, scare away Evil regardless.

These practices are evident in the presence of a ring or something sealed inside the box and visible on the plain silver back where the broader area has become depressed, with many tiny knocks, leaving a raised "imprint" of the enclosed item. Is it a ring? (something older, perhaps a respected memento, treasured, thought special or magic and carefully preserved to be worn close to the face. Whose orifices must be protected. Which is often sited as the reason for ear and nose rings, blocking these body entry points to Evil.)

Suspended,  it hangs freely from a hoop, the reinforced design that turns up as Uzbek ear and nose rings, and in this case is designed to be attached to the cape over the head (Uzbek "jelak" or "kaltacha") a headdress or possibly the womans'  shoulder. In another form they can  also be seen worn by successful Ladakhi Business women, with silver Buddhist "shunga" dangling from the side of their Turquoise and Coral encrusted "perak" headdresses.

Once again, this Triangle is wide spread possibly dating back to Matriarchal fertility symbols and the Mother Goddess. Accross the base seven rings support wonderful square profile silver rings, which I think must be quite difficult to work with. These rings hold embossed plaques inturn connected by more "square" rings (two replaced by "S" hooks) to "loop in loop" chains and hollow "diamond" points. Remember these "jingly" bits add length, sound and even more protection from lurking Evil.

The genuine granulation decoration, hand applied in wavering rows of small triangles (often symbolizing mulberries in Tajikistan and further along the Silk Route) leads me towards an origin in Tajikistan or south into Pakistan. ( I'll have to drag out the reference books yet again.)

Broken Turquoise blue coloured glass bead segments have been inserted in the bottom corners and in the central "flower" one of which is missing. So rather than use real Turquoise like in Persia and Uzbekistan, they're substituting the same opaque blue glass as is used in Tajik Earhooks.

The silver has acquired a rich patina that indicates it age, I'd hesitate before polishing it, but if you must do it gently with a dry silver polishing cloth.

The top hoop can be carefully opened sideways and closed the same way, to thread onto a chain or cord for wear.

Age: Mid/Late 20th Century.

Size: H 183 mm x W 68 x D 5 mm

Weight: 52 grams.