Antique tabzimt from Kabylie, North Algeria
This circular tabzimt (fibula) is decorated with cloisonné enamelling and detailed silver work. it is adorned with five original coral cabochons. The reverse of the fibula is also ornately decorated with enamel work. It has a lovely patina. Some wear commensurate with age, especially to the enamelling.
A tabzimt was traditionally given to a bride as part of her dowry from her parents or sometimes presented to a mother by her husband on the birth of her first son. She would wear it attached to a headband or on her chest as a fibula or pendant.
Silver, coral & enamel
8.2 cm (dia.)
Rabaté, M. (2013). Les Fibules. Paris-La Défense: ACR éd, pp. 77-78.
Fibulae (tizerzai in Tamazight; tabzimt in Arabic) are traditional silver Berber brooches, usually attached together by a chain, which come in pairs and are worn by women to fasten items of clothing together as well as being very decorative items. Women from different regions show their identity by wearing distinctive shaped fibulae, often very ornate. They symbolise feminine fertility.