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Benares House Gallery
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Title: Bracelet
Identifier: 2005.1.10
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: 1887
Image Creator: Museums of Mississuaga
Creation Date: 2005
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A silver plated brass bracelet with Arabic and Egyptian motifs. The bracelet is foliated open link work overlaid with brass cloisonné enamelled charms in blue and white designs, Egyptian sphinx heads, and Arabic crescent moons. On one end of the bracelet, attached to the clasp, is a blue and white cloisonné charm of a dagger, a silver heavily patterned sphere, an English silver 1887 six pence coin and a Canadian silver 1885 five cent.

History: Kathleen Agnes Sayers neé Colloton (1907 -1981) was the wife of Geoffrey Sayers. Kathleen, known as Kay, married Geoffrey in 1933 at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Erindale. Kay and Geoffrey never had any children and were the last Harris relatives to live at Benares. This jewellery was part of Kay Sayers Estate and was donated by Geoffrey Sayers. Many of these pieces were originally from inheritances through the Harris and Draper families.
The growth of the British Empire and the spread of its army and navy helped to influence fashion styles of jewellery in England during the 19th century. Rather than tourist jewellery, the items brought back from India, the far and near East, were considered traveler’s jewellery as they were most likely brought back by those serving in the armed forces for their sweethearts or wives. This brooch featuring an Indian goddess on a phoenix-like bird is one example of just such a gift. Many of the Harris men served with the 24th Regiment of Foot in India during the 1860’s to late 1870’s.
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