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Archive for February 13th, 2013


Posted by learntobead on February 13, 2013

Turkmen Jewelry from the Marshall and
Marilyn R. Wolf Collection

Exhibit at the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art
Closing 2/24/13


This exhibit displays the metal and stone-set jewelry of the nomadic Turkmen people of Central Asia.


Turkmen women’s jewelry consisted of headgear in the form of crowns, caps, headbands, and braid ornaments; pendants attached to headdresses and suspended on either side of the head; earrings; pectoral and dorsal ornaments; amulet holders; appliqués for clothing; armbands; and rings.


The exhibition is organized according to the principal techniques employed by Turkmen silversmiths. One grouping shows fire gilding, a technique in which gold filings—possibly obtained from coins—were combined with mercury in a paste that was brushed onto prepared silver; heat drove off the mercury, and the remaining gold was burnished to a brilliant sheen.



Other items feature stamped beading that was produced by stamping metal from behind to obtain the appearance of individual beads or granulation on the front.



A third section focuses on the inlay of carnelian and turquoise using bezels.

The fourth major technique— openwork decoration—involved the use of a chisel or fine fret saw to cut through silver sheets.


The surface decoration is typically represented by a repetition of objects or motifs — such as lozenges, squares, ovals and diamonds.    There are style variations from tribal group to tribal group within this vast area the Turkmen people occupy.

I always like to get inspired by ethnic designs, ornamentation and construction techniques.


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