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2606 Granby Street
Norfolk, VA 23517

Gold 24K Jambiya Dagger Sword Brooch with Rubies and Pearls, c.1956


Incredible 24K gold sword brooch with three small pearls and two .05 carat rubies. Brooch is from Yemen. In the shape of a jambiya or janbiya, an Arabic style dagger and sheath with a curved end. The two parts come apart and are attached by a gold chain. The sheath is etched with arabesques. A small gold latch keeps the pieces in place. Closes with a C-clasp.

Inscribed "Mrs. N.P. Kapteyn" on one side of the dagger and "Aden, 1953-56" on the other side. Also etched with the number 3 on the back of the handle of the dagger and the back of the sheath.

We acquired this piece in Belgium. The husband of this expat, Mr. N.P. Kapteyn, was a Dutch engineer who was once the secretary of the Royal Mathematics Society in Amsterdam and worked with a soft drinks manufacturing company. The Colony of Aden in what is now Yemen was a British protected international city from 1839 to 1967. 

Presumably, while her husband was working as an engineer with BP in Aden, Mrs. Kapteyn had her name etched on this janbiya brooch while strolling through the souks of a place far away from her homeland in the Netherlands. Or perhaps it was a farewell gift.

Either way, this beautiful brooch is an interesting souvenir piece from a three-year stint in Yemen during a period of colonial rule.

The brooch measures 1 5/8 x 3 1/4 x 1/2 and weighs 3/4 oz. 


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