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Jewellery, Snuff Boxes and Miniatures
Sieraden hebben in veel landen meer functies dan alleen versiering. Sieraden vertellen over de status en rijkdom van een vrouw en haar gezin, over de regio waar ze vandaan komt, over haar angsten en geloof. In dit artikel kijken we naar specifieke sieraden die gebruikt worden in de zar-ceremonie in Egypte.
Sieraden hebben in veel landen meer functies dan alleen versiering. Sieraden vertellen over de status en rijkdom van een vrouw en haar gezin, over de regio waar ze vandaan komt, over haar angsten en geloof. In dit artikel kijken we naar een van de meest in het oog springende verschillen in het gebruik van sieraden tussen onze wereld en die van het Midden-Oosten: sieraden als economisch middel.
Until the 1960's women in the Bahariya oasis in Egypt's Western Desert wore a very specific amulet. The origin of this amulet has long been subject of discussion. They have been interpreted as derivates of the zar-amulets or imitation Nubian coins, and their possible relation to the Siwa adrim has been investigated as well, but none of these studies have been able to definitively conclude where the unique decoration on the amulets finds its source. In this paper I will attempt to introduce a new perspective on the possible origin of the iconography on this amulet: Coptic magic charms.
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (MFA) has a collection of 55 miniatures painted from different manuscripts of “The Book of Kings;” the earliest one dates around 1317 AD, while the latest dates around the 16th century. The majority of the MFA paintings are from the Denman Waldo Ross Collection (36), as well as the Francis Barlett Donation (9). The rest are from other donors.
Jewelry in the Middle East is not only used as personal adornment, but often carries a deeper meaning as well. Certain jewelry items feature often as amulet or talisman. The colours and/or materials used attribute the jewelry item with special powers. In addition, certain types of jewelry were constructed with the sole purpose to protect the wearer and are therefore to be regarded as an amulet proper. One of the most intriguing categories consists of magical squares. These are a type of number amulets, in which the numbers are carefully arranged in order for each row, column and full diagonal to produce the same sum. Ideally, the square contains each number only once, but in some cases a repetition of the same number occurs. In the Islamic world, these squares are known as waqf or aqwaf in the plural.
Jewellery and hair are the ideal combination for the perfect sentimental gift. The individuality of the jewel combined with something so personal as a lock of hair is a token of love and affection that the wearer can never forget or overlook.
Historically, the idea of giving hair as a gift can date to the prehistoric. Locks of hair have been treasured as sentimental objects for as long as there have been organised burials. For the purpose of this article, the focus will remain upon the period dating from the 16th century onwards and the evolution of hairwork in jewellery.
Popularity of hair in jewellery has risen and fallen since the 18th century, moving from a strong industry to virtually nothing at all. The sentiment has become lost over time, particularly in the 20th century where it has left mainstream awareness almost entirely. Keeping the hair of a loved one, particularly the deceased, is not uncommon even today, with lockets being produced to keep the lock of hair.
Hayden Peters is a jewellery historian and worldwide authority on mourning and sentimental jewellery, based in Melbourne. His interest in the subject began 15 years ago when he saw a ring with 'in memory of' engraved on the top and thought it a wonderful symbol of affection. This led to him to collecting other pieces, including necklaces, rings, and bracelets. The period spanned is from 1550 up to 1920. He found this area of collecting a fascinating study in the cultural, social and art history of these times.
Understanding forgeries in jewellery is often a difficult task which requires extensive knowledge of both the history of forgeries and the context of the relevant piece. As new technologies provide easier means of selling pieces without having the ability to touch and examine the piece, the ability to sell obvious forgeries is increased. Dealers are less accountable for their wares and the world market becomes populated with forgeries which pass through many hands.
Since the ancient times, the art of India is closely linked with the art of the peoples of Central Asia and in particular Tajikistan. The proof can be found in archaeological discoveries, architectural monuments, painting, sculpture and jewelry.
The influence of the Gandhara style on the art of jewelry during the early Kushan era can be traced back to the artifacts of that period. In the early Middle Ages, discovered Buddhist temples on the territory of Tajikistan reveal the affiliations and liaisons in the art of jewelry, previously found in painting and sculpture.