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Unusual "marsh Arab" Niello Silver Thimble W/ Camels & Palm Tree * Circa 1915-18 For Sale
"Marsh Arab" Niello Silver Thimble
interesting solid silver thimble was made in Amara on the banks of
It is decorated
niello work. It has camels and a palm tree
around the sides. This one is unusual in that the sides are not smooth.
Hand punched knurling has been carefully added around the niello
designs. It tests
silver but is not marked. It is about an American size 10 (16.5 mm
diameter opening). The
condition is excellent with no dents, holes or repairs.
to Edwin Holmes, these thimbles were made by Sabaeans who lived in this
area (modern day Iraq) but are not Muslims. Amara was the site of a
British military hospital when they were fighting the Turks in
Mesopotamia from 1915-1918. These and other small silver pieces were
made as souvenirs for servicemen to take home. Amara
was on the edge of a vast area of marshes, thus the thimble's name.
Most of these marshes were drained by Saddam Hussein and the people
driven out. Several of these thimbles are shown on pp. 135-136 of
Bridget McConnell's book The
Story of the Thimble.
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Unusual "marsh Arab" Niello Silver Thimble W/ Camels & Palm Tree * Circa 1915-18: $181