Unusual "marsh Arab" Niello Silver Thimble W/ Camels & Palm Tree * Circa 1915-18 For Sale

Silthim15

Unusual "Marsh Arab" Niello Silver Thimble

Persian * Circa 1915-18

This interesting solid silver thimble was made in Amara on the banks of the Tigris River. It is decorated with 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 800/1000 pure 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.

According 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 major WWI 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




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