Pectoral Ornament

Object Name: Ornament

Date: late 19th–early 20th century

Geography: Central Asia or Iran

Culture: Islamic

Medium: Silver; fire-gilded, with stamping, decorative wire, openwork, wire chains with embossed pendants, and table-cut carnelians

Dimensions: 8 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (21.6 x 24.8 cm)

Classification: Jewelry

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

Accession Number: 2008.579.6

Description

The hexagonal shape, or gönzuk, represents the mountain motif; the table-cut carnelians protect the wearer from illness, and the openwork decoration of double-leaf designs is a motif symbolizing the growth and endurance of human existence. The hexagon, rhombus, and triangle are the most common shapes used in pectoral jewelry; they were believed to ward off evil in addition to fulfilling the practical purpose of fastening clothing.

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