1940s Jewelry From Iran

There are fascinating stories behind collectibles and antiques and this is no different.  It is the story of jewelry made in Iran purchased by American soldiers for loved ones at home.

In June of 1941, Hitler's army invaded the Soviet Union. The initial attack was devastating literally smashed the Soviet Unions organizational command and control. Hitler was out to destroy the Soviet Union.

From a Western perspective, that was not a good thing.  The West needed the Soviet Union to push back the German army and apply pressure from the East.  That was not going to help without a bit of help from the United States and England.

President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill had to keep the Soviet Union in the war.  After exhausting other options they opted for the Southern route for transporting supplies to the Soviet army, transiting halfway around the world and terminating in Iran with what was called the Persian Corridor. 

Not to get too involved in a history lesson, basically the Soviet Union and England split Iran in two by deposing the current Shah of Iran and installing his son who was a puppet ruler. The 'occupation' was 'papered over' to not be an occupation at all even though English and US troops occupied the Persian Corridor.

The United States and English occupied Iran from 1942 until 1945.  During this time period soldiers from both countries were based within Iran.  And it is in this time period that this jewelry was created.

Soldiers bought this jewelry, most often bracelets, for loved ones at home.  

The artwork is relatively crude but the open metal work is lovely. Silver content in all the ones that I have seen are not sterling. Most likely they are coin silver. Hand etched, they are adorned with Niello work.

This jewelry has historical significance.  It appears that each piece was specific to the person that purchased it, with messages that were personal for a specific person.  

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Daye is an avid collector and researcher of all things vintage.

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