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31 Brazilian Silver Amulets For Sale
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31 Brazilian Silver Amulets


These 31 Brazilian amulets, or balangada, were hammered from sheets of silver in the 19th century to form pomegranates, sugar apples, guava, and other exotic fruits. Symbols of fertility, they were the bling of their day, adorning the wrists and waists of women, and when not being worn, they adorned the home. Made for their own womenfolk by enslaved men from the kingdom of Benin, balanganda represent the final efflorescence of this African nation’s metalworking skills, which had reached an apogee with the large figural bronzes that were coveted by kings, as they are by museum curators today. Like jazz in the United States, Brazilian balanganda testify to the adaptive inventiveness of black culture, and the persistence of the creative impulse under duress. Since one of their functions was to adorn the home, today they could be hung on a tree, boughs of pine, or be placed in a bowl as a centerpiece. The silver content is approximately 70%. They're sold as a set, and are not available in smaller groups or individually. All have their original rings for hanging. Being artisanal the sizes vary from 3.5" to 6" in diameter (not including stems), or 7" to 8" in length, approximately. The double gourd is 8" and the gourd dipper is 16".


  • Of the Period
  • Place of Origin
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1850
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions
    H 6 in. x Dm 5 in.H 15.24 cm x Dm 12.7 cm
  • Diameter
    5 in. (12.7 cm)
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Reference Number
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1stdibs seller since 2014
Located in New York, NY
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