Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pectoral Ornament

Object Name:
late 19th–early 20th century
Attributed to Central Asia or Iran
Silver; fire-gilded, with stamping, decorative wire, openwork, wire chains with embossed pendants, and table-cut carnelians
8 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (21.6 x 24.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf, 2008
Accession Number:
Not on view
The hexagonal shape, or gönzuk, represents the mountain motif; the table-cut carnelians protect the wearer from illness, and the openwork decoration of double-leaf designs is a motif symbolizing the growth and endurance of human existence. The hexagon, rhombus, and triangle are the most common shapes used in pectoral jewelry; they were believed to ward off evil in addition to fulfilling the practical purpose of fastening clothing.
Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf, Toronto, Canada (by 2007–8; 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. 76, pp. 122-123, ill. p. 123 (color).

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