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ViewMate Posting VM 22589

Submitted by Brian Pears

Information Picture Question
Category: Interpretation
Approval Date: 4/25/2012 4:33 PM
Family Surname: Friedman/Freedman/Freeman/Speakman
Country: Sweden
Town: Gothenburg
Click the picture to enlarge

Can anyone tell me anything about this pendant?
What sort of person would have owned it, what its significance was, where it was made and when etc? I'm hoping it may give me some clues about the birthplace and religion of its original owner, who I believe was either my gt gt grandfather Charles Stephen FRIEDMAN/FREEDMAN/FREEMAN (c1842-1906) or his wife Susannah SPEAKMAN (1842-1891. What I know of Charles is outlined here: http://goo.gl/hw3j3

The pendant seems to be of pewter, with a diameter of about 1.85 inches (4.7 cm) and its principal design feature is a Star of David, or Magen David. In the centre of the star is a Hamsa or “Hand of Miriam”, and between the points of the star are six apotropaic all-seeing eyes. Two holes in the “palm” of the hamsa look as though they may have contained gemstones, and there are
indications that the pendant may have been gold-plated or gilded, though the specks of gold colouration could, just possibly, be corrosion.

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On  Response 
4/26/2012 9:14 AM it's obviously a jewish design, but,,,

jewellery can be bought and sold by anyone. some non-jewish people wear jewish symbols, and there's nothing stopping them. and some receive them as gifts, etc.

also, note that the hamsa is a sephardic custom, which i wouldn't particularly associate with a russian jew. but because many of the jews in britain were sephardic (via amsterdam), it was probably acquired in britain, or from dutch connections.

and if it was a keepsake, why was it in the button box, rather than with the jewellery? it's possible that it was just an interesting bit of metal, that someone had picked up along the way.
4/28/2012 7:36 PM A very elderly great-aunt (born in late 1800s) of ours hid a silver ring and small gold charms of sentimental value in an old tin pencil box filled with buttons, pencils, sewing needles, sewing machine needles, ink pen nibs and other odds and ends. We then discovered important documents, bits of newspapers, plus family history facts hidden or scribbled on page edges, in old books, address books, and cook books.
Good luck in your search. Based on my experience, please don't throw out any old books without going through them page by page.

Maruschia

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