Book Launch & Discussion: Silver Treasures from the Land of Sheba Regional Yemeni Jewelry by Marjorie Ransom

Wed, September 17, 2014 7:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Silver Treasures from the Land of Sheba is the first illustrated study of ethnic silver jewelry in Yemen by expert researcher and collector Marjorie Ransom. The book documents a disappearing artistic and cultural tradition with over three hundred photographs showing individual pieces, rare images of women wearing their jewelry in traditional dress, and the various regions in Yemen where the author did her field research. Pieces explored in this book include Amulet cases, hair ornaments, bridal headdresses, earrings, necklaces as well as ankle and wrist bracelets.

This event at Alwan will also feature authentic Yemeni Jewelry and traditional garb on display for public viewing.

Free and open to the public

(contributions welcome!)


With the help of research grants from the American Institute for Yemeni Studies, Marjorie Ransom studied jewelry and costume in Yemen from 2005 to 2007 providing the foundations for her book, Silver Treasures from the Land of Sheba, and laid the groundwork for a second volume on Yemeni silversmiths.

Ms. Ransom lived twice as a U.S. diplomat in Yemen in a thirty-year career that also took her to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Syria, and Egypt. She and David Ransom, her late husband, were the first Arabic-speaking tandem couple in the Foreign Service. Over the course of their careers, they assembled together a collection of more than 1,800 pieces of Middle Eastern silver jewelry.
Ms. Ransom has lectured widely in the United States about the traditional jewelry of the Middle East and written extensively on the subject for a number of different publications including Saudi Aramco World, Durrah Magazine in Bahrain and Ornament Magazine, among others.


“Female Adornment from Bilad al-Sham”: Jerusalem Fund, Washington, DC, 2008

“Silver Speaks: Traditional Jewelry of the Middle East”: the Bead Museum, Washington, DC, 2002–2003; the Jefferson County Historical Society Watertown, New York, 2005; the Gibson Gallery of the State University of New York, Potsdam, 2006; and the Arab American National Museum, Dearborn, Michigan, 2007–2008.


Alwan's programming is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council.

Last updated: 2014-09-07 21:29:18

Pieces by Abdulla Ghadban
Pieces by Abdulla Ghadban

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