before 1868 (made)


Height: 3.3 cm, Diameter: 7.7 cm

1728A-1869 MET

Anklet, silver ornamented with silver-gilt filigree, Ethiopia, before 1868

Hinged band of silver decorated on outer face with elaborate bands and scrolls of gilt wire. With pin for removal on one side.

The vendor of this anklet, Major Holland, probably acquired it (and its pair) via his involvement in a British expedition to Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1868. The expedition was prompted by the capture of a number of Europeans, including the British consul Captain Cameron, by the Ethiopian emperor Tewodros II (Theodore), who had become frustrated with a lack of communication from Queen Victoria's government. The British response was a military expedition of huge complexity and expense led by Sir Robert Napier. The expedition marched to Tewodros's fortress at Maqdala where a brief battle took place. Britain won the conflict, but not before the captives were released and Tewodros himself had committed suicide. The vendor may have been Major Trevenen James Holland who, with a military colleague, Sir Henry Montague Hozier, provided the only official account of the expedition on the orders of the Secretary of State for War. Their Record of the Expedition to Abyssinia was published in two volumes in 1870. Described as a bracelet in the Museum's 19th-century documentation, this silver cuff is more likely to be an anklet. Decorated with elaborate silver-gilt filigree it is fastened by means of two hinges, one of which has a removable pin.

Accessions register entry: 'Bracelet, a pair. Silver, ornamented with silver-gilt filigree. Abyssinian. Price £6.0.0 the pair. Purchased from Major Holland. Date of receipt from stores 26th April 1869.'

Location: In Storage

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