A lovely vintage Arabian niello compact mirror. The base bears the inscription -
WENDY FROM IRAQ
This compact was crafted by an Arabian silversmith as a memento for an Allied serviceman serving in the Middle East during World War Two. Vanities were a particularly popular gift which were sent or brought home by the allied servicemen service in Iraq and elsewhere in Arabia. These were purchased as love tokens for their wives or girlfriends.
The lid is embellished with a gorgeous niello design. Framed by a diamond shaped border a palm tree can be seen in the foreground. A traditional dhow can be seen sailing on glittering silver water. Typically Arabian buildings and palm trees are shown in the hinterland. This scene is enclosed by an engraved circular border. Floral motifs enhance the composition. Set within this silver hexagonal compact is a circular hinged lid. Lift the lid to reveal a powder well and a mirror. The mirror gives a clear reflection which is ever so slightly distorted. The base is embellished with a charming niello waterscape, dhows and an oasis. The compact is in good condition. Measures 7 cm x 6.3 cm . Weighs 47.2 grams.
This piece tests as high grade silver. However, it is not hallmarked which is common for items made in Arabia at this time. In the absence of hallmarks we are listing this vanity in our vintage compact section rather than our solid silver collection.
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