Silver; fire-gilded and chased, with openwork, table-cut carnelians, wire chains, and embossed pendants
4 1/4 x 7 1/8 in. (10.8 x 18.1 cm)
Gift of Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf, 2010
Not on view
Two Bridal Headdress Ornaments (2010.501.3 and 2013.968.9)
These two bridal headdress ornaments, with curved front elements and straight-sided flaps, are variants of the group of high curved rectangular crowns known as egme, a term that, according to Johannes Kalter, means “curved bent.” The silver chains hanging on the forehead gracefully frame the wearer’s face and veil her features. Tall crowns like these are among the most impressive and sumptuous elements of the bridal accoutrement. In both nos. 2010.501.3 and 2013.968.9, the openwork design must have made them lighter to wear than a stiff crown without openwork. In the earliest recorded examples, such as the crown described in the late eighteenth-century account of Samuel Gottlieb Gmelin, small silver headbands and rows of coins were layered one above the other and sewn onto a tall fabric headdress. According to the literature, heavier crowns became fashionable among the Turkmen late in the nineteenth century, perhaps paralleling the taste for Russian-style marriage crowns in urban centers, and then fell into disuse by the mid-twentieth century.
Both examples feature graceful openwork designs of tripartite elements derived from floral shapes. Close examination strongly suggests that these shapes are tulips, which are rarely noted in the relevant literature; the tulip is generally related to Ottoman design traditions, but it can also be found in Central Asian textiles made in nineteenth-century urban workshops.
Layla S. Diba in [Diba 2011]
10. Kalter, Johannes. “The Tribal Jewelry of Turkestan.” In Hasson, Rachel. Later Islamic Jewellery. Exh. cat., L. A. Mayer Institute of Islamic Art. Jerusalem, 1987, p. 127.
11. Gmelin, Samuel Gottlieb. Travels through Northern Persia 1770–1774. Translated and annotated by Willem Floor. Washington, D.C., 2007. Originally published as Reise durch Russland zur Untersuchung der drey Natur-Reiche, 4 vols., Saint Petersburg, 1774–84, p. 282.
12. Schletzer, Dieter, and Reinhold Schletzer. Old Silver Jewellery of the Turkoman: An Essay on Symbols in the Culture of Inner Asian Nomads. Translated by Paul Knight. Berlin, 1983, p. 176; Kalter, Johannes. The Arts and Crafts of Turkestan. New York, 1983, p. 217.
13. Kalter 1983 (note 12), p. 157, reaches the same conclusion regarding the three-leaved shapes, although he has reservations about interpreting these forms in Ghaznavid reliefs as a tulip.
Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf, Toronto, Canada (by 2006–10; gifted to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Fifty Years of Collecting Islamic Art," September 23, 2013–January 26, 2014, no catalogue.
Diba, Layla S. "Silver Ornaments from the Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf Collection." In Turkmen Jewelry. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 6, pp. 54-55, ill. p. 54 (color).
Artist: Date: late 19th–early 20th century Accession Number: 2010.501.3 Date: late 19th–early 20th centuryMedium: Silver; fire-gilded and chased, with openwork, table-cut carnelians, wire chains, and embossed pendants
Accession: 2010.501.3On view in:Not on view
Artist: Date: late 19th–early 20th century Accession Number: 2013.968.8 Date: late 19th–early 20th centuryMedium: Silver; fire-gilded and repousse with openwork and beaded stamped decoration, table cut carnelian, embossed pendants, and perforated terminations.Accession: 2013.968.8On view in:Not on view
Artist: Date: early 20th century Accession Number: L.2006.39.77 Date: early 20th centuryMedium: Silver, fire-gilded, with stamped beading, silver shot, decorative wire, wire chains, embossed pendants, and glass inlays over red foil, lacquer, or clothAccession: L.2006.39.77On view in:Not on view
Artist: Date: late 19th–early 20th century Accession Number: 2014.714.13 Date: late 19th–early 20th centuryMedium: Silver; fire-gilded and chased, with openwork, decorative wire, wire chains and pendants with applied decoration, embossed decoration, bells, and table cut carneliansAccession: 2014.714.13On view in:Not on view