Stunning, large gold-guilded Turkmen pendant
When we talk of finds and treasures from lands far away, undoubtedly, this is the kind of jewelry we dream of.....
Entirely handmade using age-old techniques, this piece is made out of a thick silver alloy sheet which ensures its sturdiness- this jewelry can't be bend easily! The pendant's main body has been engraved with an abstract pattern- perhaps a stylized flame, birds or even flowers. The most distinctive feature of Turkmen jewelry, however, is the partial gold gilding, and the ensuing bi-metal look.
Another recognizable feature is the prominent bezel set stones- whether genuine carnelians or imitation red stones, as in this case. The red colour symbolizes vitality, fertility, and happiness, and thus, in the hostile desert and steppe landscape, they acquire a particular significance. Strategically placed, these stone are also believed to ward off the evil eye.
Cascading down the bottom edge of the pendant, topped with coral and mother of pearl beads, are the traditional handmade loop-in-loop chains. Signature navette and mango shape beads hang from these chains, forming an impressive border. Fun fact: the sound of the beads clattering together with movement is said to alert admirers and scare away demons!
Pendants like these, depending on their size and shape, were worn by Teke Turkmen tribal women as braid and hair ornaments, necklaces, or sewn onto their garments, often in pairs with one along each shoulder.
A warm patina remains, giving this old necklace a glow that only the passage of time can create. This pendant comes ready to wear strung on a grey suede cord.
I've been a big fan of Turkmen jewelry since my design college days- drooling over pages of books on Central Asian ethnic jewelry. It amazes me and thrills me that over the years I've finally built a decent enough collection that today I can share a few pieces with all of you.
Composition: ~ 80% Silver + red glass stones, coral and mother of pearl beads.
Stamped: No visible markings.
Measurements: 16.5 cms long and 4.5 cms at the widest.
Weight: 45 gms
Age: early 20th century.
Country of origin: Turkmenistan/Central Asia
Please note: (1) All the jewelry in this collection is vintage, and thus neither new nor in mint condition. Wear, dents, scratches, oxidation, etc. are in keeping with the age of the jewelry.
(2) All the jewelry has been gently cleaned to remove surface dirt and oils but not the patina- which in our view adds immensely to the appeal of vintage pieces. While in great condition (none of the jewelry is broken/chipped/in need of repair), all were previously owned by someone else, and while not perfect each is full of old history and charm. Please use accompanying photographs to make your decision and be sure to ask any questions you may have before purchase.
(3) It is also worth reminding that since the jewelry is shot in close-up mode, the pieces may look bigger than actual size. Conversely, some large pieces may look smaller in pictures. Always refer to the mentioned dimensions.