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Geography:Attributed to Turkey
Medium:Silver sheet; gilt, filigree, wire and granulation over silvered copper alloy
Dimensions:Overall: H. 2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm) W. 7 5/16 in. (18.5 cm) D. 1 15/16 in. (5 cm) Wt. 9.269oz. (262.8g) 91.1.1109a: W. 4 in. (10.1 cm) 91.1.1109b: W. 4 1/2 in. (11.5 cm)
Credit Line:Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891
Accession Number:91.1.1109a, b
Late Ottoman Jewelry and Accessories: 91.1.1123, .1122, .1109a, b; .1100, .1105
In Ottoman society, decorating the body and clothing with jewelry and accessories had a long tradition, commonly associated with social status and wealth. Precious gold or silver ornamented with gems symbolized imperial splendor, but pieces designed for the sultan and his entourage also inspired less costly imitations such as the ones here, made with coral and turquoise. Adorned with precious or semiprecious stones, colorful inlays, and jewels, such works also served as part of a woman’s dowry and as a means of storing wealth. These five objects, featuring nineteenth-century silversmithing techniques that developed in the Ottoman lands from the Balkans to the Caucasus, epitomize the range of forms and techniques found in Moore’s jewelry holdings. Worked mainly in gilded silver and reflecting the imperial style, their repoussé or applied decoration in filigree or granulation achieves a complex texture in relief and openwork that would have resonated with his aesthetic sensibilities. Their extensive use of silver, particularly in the heavy girdle clasps, weighing one pound each (91.1.1100 and 91.1.1105), indicates that they were most likely intended for the wealthy and the upper classes.
In one girdle clasp (91.1.1109a, b), the metal itself is emphasized in a virtuoso display of the artisan’s skill. Thick silver wires, filigree, and granulation define a series of concentric circles, each filled with stylized scrolling vines (the leaves are in fine silver sheets) and decorative rosettes. Another (91.1.1100) features well-defined openwork filigree and granulation, supplemented by green and blue enamel inlays forming circular patterns and a stylized tulip. The sculptural clasp (91.1.1105) combines repoussé work and granulation for the leaves and flowers, with colorful accents of coral and turquoise beads. Two common overall designs were employed in these clasps: circular or oval shapes with multilobed edges (91.1.1109a, b), and monumental stylized tulip shapes, here in the tripartite arrangement favored in Ottoman imperial society (91.1.1100 and 91.1.1105).
In their shape the turban ornaments, common in the Ottoman world, echo the feather fitted at the back of such headdresses. The one probably from Istanbul (91.1.1123) is distinguished by numerous colorful enamel inlays, characteristic of a traditional style that played with pastel and saturated tones to create nuanced shades (white and red). This style, also shared by Ottoman manuscript painting in Istanbul, indicates that the jewelry was produced in the capital, possibly for the upper class or court.
Deniz Beyazit in [Higgins Harvey 2021]
1. For the first design, see Bilgi, Hülya and Idil Zanbak. Cevher: Sadberk Hanim Müzesi koleksiyonundan mineli ve murassa eserler/Jewel: Enamelled and Jewelled Objects from the Sadberk Hanim Museum Collection. Exh. cat. Istanbul: Sadberk Hanim Müzesi, 2015, p. 25, fig. 10, and pp. 74, 86–87, 90–92, 96–97, nos. 2, 9, 11–13, 16. For similar tuliplike belt ornaments, see Aysel Cotelioglu and Hande Gunyol in Topkapi Sarayi Harem-i Humayunu 2012, p. 112, no. 23; see also Bilgi and Zanbak 2015 (see above), pp. 88–89, no. 10.
2. Similar examples with precious stones are worn by Ottoman sultans depicted in paintings; for examples featuring the sultans Mustafa III (r. 1757–74) and Mustafa IV (r. 1807–8), see Irepoglu, Gül. Imperial Ottoman Jewellery: Reading History through Jewellery. Istanbul: Bilkent Kültür Girisimi Yaninlari, 2012, ill. nos. 179, 181. See also Bilgi and Zanbak 2015 (see note 1), pp. 110–11, no. 26, pp. 116–17, no. 29.
3. See a Qur’an manuscript dated 1851–52 in the Metropolitan Museum’s collection (1980.603).
Edward C. Moore (American), New York (until d. 1891; bequeathed to MMA)
Higgins Harvey, Medill, ed. Collecting Inspiration : Edward C. Moore at Tiffany & Co.. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2021. no. 120C, p. 186, ill.
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