Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pair of Double Cordiform Pendants

Object Name:
late 19th–early 20th century
Attributed to Central Asia or Iran
Silver; fire-gilded and chased, with decorative wire, ram's-head terminals, embossed decoration, and cabochon carnelians
3 3/4 x 3 1/8 in. (9.5 x 7.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf, 2011
Accession Number:
Not on view
Five Double Cordiform Pendants (MMA2015.648.1, MMA 2016.714.1, MMA 2011.584.4, MMA 2008.579.2, and MMA 2011.584.5).

Cordiform dorsal pendants were also produced in double and triple formats. The double cordiform pendants in this group were sometimes worn as pectoral ornaments as well.[22] Most of these ornaments display the Teke style, but the Wolf collection also includes a rare example of Yomut design (no. 2008.579.2). Although most are of medium size, one example is a charming small-scale pair (no. 2011.584.5). In the double pendants in the Wolf collection, the Turkmen silversmith tackled the design problem of how to link multiple cordiform units by using a flat tubular bar at the top, and openwork floral arabesque designs (nos. 2015.648.1 and 2016.714.1) or a triangular cordiform unit (nos. 2011.584.4 and 2008.579.2) at the bottom. In both types, the pendant is outfitted with suspension loops. The Teke pieces illustrate both the readable, graceful arabesque and the striking abstract tigerstripe variant. The Yomut piece exemplifies the masterful use of simple geometric units of lozenges, roundels, rosettes, and crescents in parallel and symmetrical designs, here combined with particularly fine mottled carnelians and bordered by trefoil appliqués.

Layla S. Diba in [Diba 2011]


22. Rudolph, Hermann. Der Turkmenenschmuck: Sammlung Kurt Gull. Exh. cat., Museum Rietberg Zürich; Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin. Stuttgart, 1984, p. 208.
Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf, Toronto, Canada (by 2006–11; 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. 62, pp. 107, 109, ill. p. 109 (color).

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