Executioner's chain of office, reputedly African, 1801-1900
A ‘chain of office’ is a mark of the importance of a position. This silver chainmail necklace was made in the 1800s and worn by an executioner. It reputedly belonged to the executioner during the reign of King Prempeh I (c. 1888-1931) of the Ashanti in North Africa. Although Prempeh eventually turned against capital punishment, he could be a harsh ruler. Human sacrifices and executions are recorded as being performed on his behalf. King Prempeh fought the British colonial forces and was exiled to the Seychelles in the 1890s. He was allowed to return to his homeland two decades later and died in 1931 of natural causes.
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Ornaments worn around the neck, usually in the form of chains or strands of beads, pearls, stones, or the like, and often including a suspended ornamental pendant. Use "chokers" for short, narrow necklaces worn close to the throat. Use "dog collars (necklaces)" for wide ornamental bands worn tightly around the neck.
Glossary: capital punishment