Triangular Amulet Holder

Object Name: Amulet holder

Date: late 19th–early 20th century

Geography: Attributed to present-day Uzbekistan, Karakalpak

Medium: Silver; fire-gilded, with stamped beading, silver shot, decorative wire, gilt and silver applied decoration, loop-in-loop chains, cone-shaped pendants, slightly domed and cabochon carnelians, and turquoise beads

Dimensions: 9 1/2 x 10 1/2 in. (24.1 x 26.7 cm)

Classification: Jewelry

Credit Line: Gift of Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf, 2008

Accession Number: 2008.579.12


This amulet, in the shape of a triangle, or tumar, was worn on the chest and presents an interesting variation of the standard tumar design. Instead of a mountain motif, a pair of horns crowns the piece. A cylindrical tube, or bozbend, embellished with cabochon-cut carnelians and turquoise beads features prominently in the center. It would have held a Muslim prayer scroll, thus enhancing the talismanic powers of the entire piece. The solidness of the upper part is balanced by the dangling elements extending below it, which produced a soft, pleasant sound.