Pair of earrings

before 1868 (made)


Height: 2.3 cm, Width: 5.5 cm

1730&A-1869 MET

Pair of earrings, silver wire coiled into double scroll, Ethiopia, before 1868.

Pair of earrings, each formed of silver wire in a double scroll.

The vendor of this pair of earrings, Major Holland, probably acquired them 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.

Accessions register entry: 'Earrings, a pair. Silver wire in a double scroll. Abyssinian. Price £1.10.0 the pair. Purchased from Major Holland. Date of receipt from stores 26th April 1869.'

Location: In Storage

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