Tuareg Tanfouk/ Talhakimt Pendant in Carnelian ca 1900 #1

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  • Tuareg Tanfouk/ Talhakimt Pendant in Carnelian ca 1900 #1
  • Approx. 2 1/4" x 1 1/4"
  • Collected in Mali, West Africa
  • Idar Oberstein in Germany has been a centre for stone cutting for over 500 years.
    Deposits of Amethyst and Agate were discovered in the region and have been mined since the 14th Century. This mineral resource, along with the hydro power which could be produced very cheaply using the river Nahe, drove forward a stone cutting industry which remains important even today.
  • The water of the river powered vast cutting wheels which were used to grind, drill and polish stones. The business of cutting local gems was a great success until the 18th Century, when the locally mined resources were depleted. The local economy relied heavily on this industry, and soon new stocks of agate were being imported from Brazil and India.
  • Many fine Carnelian Agate beads were cut in Idar Oberstein, and were traded in great numbers to Africa where they were worn and traded around the edges of the Sahara and beyond as Heirloom and Cultural Artifacts. Artifacts such as this pendant, a classic Tanfouk/ Talhakimt charm, were custom made to specifically enter the West African Trade.