Deir ez-Zor: Silversmiths

Date: c. 1930-1990

Silversmiths in Deir ez-Zor prior to the 1930s were primarily Jewish, but after their migration to Palestine, most who practice this craft were Muslim and some were Armenian Christians. Silversmith had declined to near extinction by c. 1990. This can be attributed to complex layers of social, economic, and cultural changes, including the fact that silver has lost its importance as a reserve currency. One of the unique silver products of Syrian craftsmen is nielloed jewellery, which was produced by silversmiths in Deir ez-Zor such as Abdallah Sultan and Abdeljabbar el Maslavi. This style of silver jewelry, such as armlets, were often decorated with representation of mosques or vegetal motifs and catered to tourist demands. See also: Goldmith; Inlay Worker.

Citation: Kalter, Johannes, “Urban Handicrafts”, in Kalter, Johannes, Margareta Pavaloi, and Maria Zerrnickel, eds. The Arts and Crafts of Syria: Collection Antoine Touma and Linden-Museum Stuttgart (London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 1992), pp. 76-78, figs. 137-39.