When Marjorie Ransom bought her first piece of Yemeni silver jewelry in the 1960s, she started weaving a bond with Yemen that would last a lifetime. 


Marjorie Ransom is a Middle East specialist who served for much of her career in the U.S. Information Agency, later part of the Department of State.  She has lived and worked throughout the Middle East, where she collected traditional silver jewelry, particularly from Yemen.  She has lectured widely on the subject, and her renowned collection of Middle Eastern jewelry has been exhibited at the Bead Museum in Washington, D.C., and in museums in New York, Michigan, and California.

In 2014, the American University in Cairo Press published Ms. Ransom’s book.  She is writing her second book about the silversmiths and related topics.  In December 2016, Ms. Ransom donated her traveling exhibit, Silver Speaks:  Traditional Jewelry of the Middle East, to the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.  She is preparing a catalogue of her collection of Yemeni silver jewelry, costumes, textiles and other objects with the mission of placing it in a museum that will display it, continuing her mission of introducing the beauty of Middle Eastern culture to Americans. 


"This beautiful book is a fitting tribute to the rich culture of Yemen, and its people’s appreciation of fine craftsmanship."

— Shelagh Weir, former curator for the Middle East at the British Museum



Ms Ransom has lectured widely in the US about the traditional jewelry of the Middle East.

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About the book

This stunning volume is the first study ever made of Yemen’s handcrafted silver jewelry.

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