This is a very rare example of a northern Moroccan gold necklace that dates to the early 18th century , and most probably is from Tetouan. Only a handful – perhaps three examples – are known to still exist and these other examples tend to have been amended or reconstituted in part with the addition of later and foreign elements. The example here almost certainly is in its original condition. It would have been commissioned by an aristocratic or noble family if not a member of the royal household itself. Of definite Moroccan origin, it shows distinct Islamic Spanish Andalusian influence.
It comprises a large, single, rough-cut emerald that weighs upwards of 150 carats; fifteen strands of small Baroque pearls, two gold cylinders that have been enamelled; two gold mounted coral beads; multiple gold beads, and a gold chain. The version here, with a large, central rough-cut emerald at its centre is known as a m’dejja or khnag. Also see a related ‘Imperial’ necklace in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, which the Museum dates to the 18th century and which it acquired in 1902.
Ours is the only example we know of with such a massive emerald.
The necklace is in excellent condition for its age. There are no obvious losses, no repairs, and no replacements. It is a superb, rare museum piece. It is stable and wearable.