For many women of Egypt, their jewelry is their bank-they wear their wealth in their gold.
But jewelry in Egypt is also more than mere assets, and its design and manufacture reveal a great array of styles and a high degree of skill and artistry.
In this lavishly illustrated book, Azza Fahmy, herself a world-renowned designer of jewelry based on traditional motifs, lays before us an Aladdin's cave of jewelry made in all comers of Egypt over the last one hundred years, collected through her extensive travels throughout the country.
From the farms and villages of the Nile Valley and Delta, from the oases of the Western Desert and the mountains and wadis of Sinai and the Eastern Desert, from Nubia in the south, and from the crowded traditional neighborhoods of Cairo is displayed a comucopia of gold and silver adornment- each area with its own distinctive favored style.
Personal seals have been widely employed, and there is even jewelry for special occasions, such as the exorcism of malignant spirits, and for animals. The author not only documents all these varieties and illustrates them with the finest examples, she also describes the techniques and skills involved in their production and the materials used, and recounts her own journey of learning as she apprenticed with the leading master jewelers to become the best known jeweler in Egypt, whose work is worn by world leaders, royalty, and connoisseurs of jewelry around the globe.