Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pectoral Disc Ornament

Object Name:
late 19th–early 20th century
Attributed to Central Asia or Iran
Silver; fire-gilded and chased with rams head terminals, decorative wire and table cut carnelian
17 in. (43.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf, 2009
Accession Number:
Not on view
Pectoral Disc Ornaments (MMA 2009.530.9, MMA 2014.714.4a, 4b, MMA 2015.648.2a, .2b, 2010.501.10, and MMA 2010.501.10)

The other roundels in this group (see numbers above) are not as easy to categorize as the Teke pectoral disc ornaments 2006.544.12, 2012.206.6a, .6b, 2011.584.12, and 2015.648.3. Most are new to the literature, and while some are related to Teke works, others, such as the Kazakh and Afghan examples, represent a different style. However, when taken together they illustrate that the roundel form was widespread. Nos. 2009.530.9 and 2014.714.4a, 4b are perhaps closest to the Teke examples: they exhibit arabesque designs in fire gilding and ram’s-head terminals as well as rosettes inset with carnelians, all previously noted Teke design features. No. 2014.714.4a, 4b is particularly notable for its musical qualities. According to Marilyn Wolf, each large bell emits a different tone when struck,[22] a skillful arrangement that would have created a pleasing melody as the wearer moved.

Layla S. Diba in [Diba 2011]


22. Marilyn Wolf, conversation with the author, August 2007.
Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf, Toronto, Canada (by 2006–9; gifted to MMA)
Diba, Layla S. "Silver Ornaments from the Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf Collection." In Turkmen Jewelry. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 89, p. 136, ill. pl. 89 (color).

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