The Carlos Ballesta López Foundation expands its collection of Yemeni jewels

25 July, 2012 - 04:25
Colgante thaler

The Carlos Ballesta López Foundation expands its collection of Jewels of Yemen with the addition of important pieces from the XVIII and the first half of the XX century. Among the new pieces included it is worth to mention a Thaler pendant from 1780. This type of traditional Yemenite jewelry is named for having coins minted by the Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, Maria Theresa, who ruled between 1740 and 1780. The first coin of her mandate was minted in 1741. Her mintings were characterized by the highest standard and strict regulation of the amount of silver that the coin should contain, that is 28 grams of silver with 85% purity. In Yemen, jewels containing Thalers are used as amulets, both by the presence of the face of the Empress and its patina and glow, as it was believed that the brightness attracted the devil preventing him to enter inside the person who wore the jewel. The Thaler reached Yemen from of Austria, through the coffee route to Moka.

The collection has been expanded with excellent pieces of Bedihi granulation, filigree Bawsani as well as a magnificent Labbeh (Arab Bedouin Sanaa necklace). The Labbeh that from now on becomes part of the funds of the collection of the Carlos Ballesta Foundation is an extraordinary example of this type of bulky necklace formed by many overlapping pieces. The result is a shiny surface that constantly moves with head movements, generating numerous reflections believed to scare away evil spirits. This necklace was part of the dowry that women received at the time of their marriage.

In addition, noteworthy a number of other very interesting pieces for their rarity and scarcity: a necklace charm for fertility made of black coral and curved silver beads; a necklace of black coral beads; a nameplate necklace engraved with a calligraphy inscription; a Bedouin Necklace Hirsz from the Eastern Yemen Hadramut area; and a local Bedouin bracelet from the Tihama area, among other pieces.