late 19th–early 20th century
Central Asia or Iran
Silver, fire-gilded and chased, with openwork, decorative wire, and table-cut carnelians; contemporary red cotton lining
5 1/4 x 7 1/8 in. (13.3 x 18.1 cm)
Gift of Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf, 2009
Not on view
The style of this crown, destined for a woman’s head, is consistent with that of Teke jewelry with its simple, bold patterns created by the contrast of the fire-gilded silver base, the large oval carnelians, triangular and v-shaped silver details reserved on a gold ground and openwork S-shapes and other motifs on a red cotton ground. Turkmen craftsmen used silver sheet derived from melted-down coins which they hammered and soldered together in boxlike constructions. The gilded appearance was achieved by mixing gold filings with mercury to form a paste that was then brushed onto a prepared silver surface. This was then heated to remove the mercury, leaving gold to be burnished.