|Turkmen head dress, late 19th century|
A selection of 43 finely crafted pieces, on display until 24 February 2013, showcases 19th and 20th century Turkmen culture.
The couple, frequent visitors to Central Asia and the Middle East, started as textile collectors and were later drawn by the strong, bold jewellery pieces in the 1990s.
According to the Met's publicity: "the exhibition is organized according to the principal techniques employed by Turkmen silversmiths. One grouping shows fire gilding, a technique in which gold filings—possibly obtained from coins—were combined with mercury in a paste that was brushed onto prepared silver; heat drove off the mercury, and the remaining gold was burnished to a brilliant sheen.
|Cover of the exhibition catalogue|
Some motifs in Turkmen jewelry are similar to those found in textiles from the area. For example, repeat patterns of squares, rectangles, or lozenges can be found both in silverwork and in carpets. The repertoire of motifs varies according to the tribe of the maker and owner, and the exhibition will highlight distinctive designs from Teke, Yomut, and Kazakh jewelry-makers".
Those of you with a particular interest in jewellery and unable to visit the exhibition, can pick up a copy of the gorgeous catalogue through regular online bookstores. It is the first publication in English about Turkmen jewellery.
At the Savitsky museum in Nukus, passengers on Uzbek Journeys tours have the chance to see exquisite examples of Karakalpak and Turkmen head dresses, amulets and other ornaments.
The video clip below [3.23 min] is well worth viewing. The Wolf's philosophy is "if you can't see it every day and you're not interested in it, you shouldn't own it. You don't hide things away". So instead of jewellery boxes, the Wolfs have jewellery walls. (If you are unable to view the video on your device, please follow this link: http://youtu.be/IqL2PyysgNs)
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Biography of Igor Savitsky, Founder of the Karakalpakstan Museum, Nukus
Images source: http://www.metmuseum.org/