Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Turkoman Attire Worn by Author of Blog

Click link to see more such jewelry.  
First the tall gilded silver and carnelian jeweled head covering is usually worn as a support for the veil, hidden except for the high front part.   This shawl or veil is made of finely woven silk, embroidered with traditional tribal symbols.  The spinning of the silkworm's web and the weaving, sewing and embroidery are all done by hand.  

The plain and gilded silver jewelry are made by the male silversmiths of the tribe.  You can see this giant cuff bracelet at the studio that houses my collection.

These Teke tribal silver cuff bracelets with layered gold and table cut agate cabochons. Matched pair of bracelets dated to 1850-1900 by Dieter and Reinhold Schlecter in Old Silver Jewellery of the Turkoman. Heavily decorated in tribal symbols and with the superior craftsmanship of the Teke silversmith. Because of their age, each of the bracelets shows marks of repair, revealed in attached photos.

These are typical of the Turkoman silversmith's techniques. They worked mainly in silver that had been imported from surrounding countries in the form of silver ingots. This the silversmiths melted down and formed their own almost pure heavy silver plates. No rolled sheets used in the master silversmith's hands.

The traditional tribal designs were laid out in a layer of thin gold, not a wash but a very durable amount of gold on the silver.

This process is made much more difficult in the case of large bracelets. The bracelets are hollow. so two sheets had to be put together smoothly. Only the face of the bracelet was gilded. The edge of the bracelet is either signed or decorated with something that looks like calligraphy.

The gemstones used are nearly always carnelian, sometimes turquoise or glass. Edges of Turkoman jewelry usually have ancestor symbols attached in the form of stylized rams' heads or just the horns. The gilded cut-out patterns usually suggest plants or water.

The jewelry worn by a Turkoman female reveals her status in the tribe, whether a wife or an unmarried woman, and something of her standing in the wider community.  This is true of all the clothing worn by the Turkoman woman, from the jeweled collar necklace to huge breastplates that reach from the top of the chest to the waist line, a dressy robe of silk and embroidery, a head covering resembling the one above and rings and bracelets all are meant to show the status of the wearer. 


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    1. Thank you, John. Please drop by and comment when you have a chance.

  2. Fascinating, Anna! The workmanship that has gone into all the pieces is absolutely astounding. Glad to see "my" bracelets here :)

  3. Thank you Catherine. I am glad you like those bracelets. They are quite impressive. I have never worn even one of them except for photos or a local show (once). The really draw attention!

  4. These Teke tribal silver cuff bracelets with layered gold and table cut agate cabochon are awsome. i really like it.
    Silver Bracelets

  5. Thank you very much, Jony. Please stop by any time. I try to post a blog a couple of times a month. You are also welcome to see more of my collection at http://CraftsofthePast.artfire.com Anna

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  7. I am sure that is true, Muhammad. I cannot imagine how difficult it is to make the more decorative Teke jewelry.