Inspired by centuries of history and global culture, Azza Fahmy salutes the mystical phenomenon of the talisman and associated universal beliefs with the unveiling of the 13-piece Talisman Collection.
Ta-lis-muh, derived via French or Spanish from Arabic tilsam, from Medieval Greek telesma.
Widely thought to have magic powers offering protection, good luck and prosperity to those possessing a talisman, Azza Fahmy Jewellery continues to creatively use timed-honored skills and her usual artisan attention to detail, uniquely bringing together carefully selected international talismans.
“Drawing inspiration from world cultures is at the heart of our design philosophy and DNA,” Azza Fahmy tells Egypt Today. “Travel, a passion of mine, is one of the many research tools we utilize at our design house as we continue to experiment and merge different cultures together. I have always been fascinated with worldwide talismans and what they represent. It took me years of travelling and research, together with my design team of 22, and my daughter and design protégé Amina Ghali, to re-interpret the talismans I gathered, into the collection it is today.”[caption id="attachment_525584" align="alignnone" width="620"] Sterling silver bracelet.[/caption]
Fahmy says the new collection “draws inspiration from various global and North African cultures and heritage references, from talismanic symbols in Ancient Egyptian inspired by Amarna Art (1351-1334 BC) to Ottoman civilizations featuring the Seal of Solomon and 13th century Victorian keys, and Greek Mythology. "Symbols like the snake, hand with its different interpretations, owl, lotus flower and papyrus, and the eye with its interpretations, with their meanings represented in the collection," Fahmy says. "The hand holding coins, the traditional Iraqi doll, the scissors, and keys inspired by the 13th century, to the Ottoman inspired seal of Solomon, and the Vietnamese frog.”
Asked what it was like working with daughter Amina Ghali on this collection, Fahmy says, “I’m lucky to have been working with my daughter Amina side by side in design ever since she joined the company in 2005, after finishing 6 years of her jewellery design studies in Europe. She brings a contemporary edge to the brand, adding to our research and design methods as she currently works with trend forecasters and stylists in London. We constantly feed off each other’s inspirations and designs.”
Charms, bracelets, necklaces and rings with intricately designed motifs are featured in options of the brand’s signature metal mix of solid 18ct gold units fused onto sterling silver and complemented with carefully selected precious and semiprecious stones maintaining authenticity of the talisman theme.
The 13-piece Talisman Collection combines cultural and historic references wrapped in contemporary designs. The journey began in 1969, when Fahmy began her jewellery design journey, collecting books and jewelry including talismans.[caption id="attachment_525580" align="alignnone" width="620"] 18kt gold and sterling silver evil eye coin.[/caption]
The Frog The Frog, originating from Vietnam, implies strength. It was used as protection against evil and was known to give strength to children. The fish, a good luck charm, symbolizes happiness, joy, good fortune, and prosperity.
The Evil Eye, Snake, Scissors, Iraqi Doll Of Egyptian origins, the evil eye is known to protect against curses by a malevolent glare. The scissors, originating from Ancient Egyptian times, is placed above doors in Middle Eastern cultures to protect from evil influences. The Iraqi doll is a symbol for protection. The inscriptions spelling “yegaal fi eynek gawhara wi fi hanakek sukkara” (A jewel in your eye, a cube of sugar in your mouth) are good wishes for the holder. The snake, representing protection in Ancient Egypt, is the symbol that holds all talisman charms together.
The Hand The all-seeing eye at the hand’s center ensures that nothing escapes its sight. A symbol for protection against the evil eye.
The Coin in Hand The coin in hand, a Bolivian inspiration, is known to protect its holder from financial loss. The Evil Eye, of Egyptian origin, is known to protect its holder from the malevolent glare. The fish, originating from Greek culture, represents financial good luck and prosperity. The inscription spelling “Ya Wadoud” is a call out for endearment.
The Owl Of Greek origin, the owl talisman signifies knowledge and wisdom and is merged with Egyptian botanical motifs.
The Lotus The lotus flower represents rebirth as it retracts into the water at night and emerges afresh in the sunlight. Inspired by Amarna art (1351-1334 BC).
The Key A symbol of good luck and is said to open doors that are closed. Inspired by 13th century keys, it also symbolizes success, knowledge, freedom and liberation.
The Seal of Solomon The seal, originating from the Ottoman civilization, originally featured on the flag of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1923), inscribed with “Ya Hanan Ya Manan, Ya Haris Ya Baset.”