Uncanny Artist Ephemera and Objects for Artists and Collectors
  • Old Ethiopian Silver Telsum Prayer Box Pendant

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    This is an Old Ethiopian Silver Telsum Prayer Box Pendant, measuring 2.5" (64mm) long by by 2.5" (64mm) wide (including rings) by 0.625" (16mm) deep.  The front has a geometric design composed of 12 domes (8 in two rows down the center and one in each corner with a braided ring); 3 vertical lines with braided sides; 3 single braid horizontal lines; 2 flat circles; and 1 flat diamond.  Each side has five heavy arched rings, each measuring 0.1875" (5mm) wide by 0.25" (6.5mm) in diameter.  It would have hung with the rings in a horizontal position and with bells or dangles on the lower rings.  The pendant is clearly handmade, probably by the Oromo tribe who use these pendants as protective amulets to ward off the evil eye.  It is not known whether this is pure silver or a silver alloy.  Exact age is also unknown but very similar boxes date from the early 20th century.  This Old Ethiopian Silver Telsum Prayer Box Pendant is in Good condition with natural imperfections (such as crude soldering which is common for this item) and small dents from use and age.