Amulet Holder

Object Name: Amulet holder

Date: late 19th–early 20th century

Geography: Attributed to Central Asia or Iran

Medium: Silver and brass alloy; fire-gilded, with ram's-head terminals, loop-in-loop chains, bells, decorative wire, gilt-applied decoration, table-cut carnelians, and applique discs on leather

Dimensions: Leather strap: 17 13/16 x 1 13/16 in. (45.2 x 4.7 cm)
Qur'an Case: 7 x 7 13/16 in. (17.8 x 19.8 cm)

Classification: Jewelry

Credit Line: Gift of Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf, 2005

Accession Number: 2005.443.8


This Qur'an holder is a doga-kumus, a small box that hangs from a chain or a leather strap that was hung over the shoulder or around the neck. This type of silver jewelry was used to keep Muslim prayers, talismans, keys, or coins, and was typically worn by older women. According to an eighteenth-century legend, these hanging Qur'an holders symbolize Islamic power over evil spirits. The front of the box is decorated with gilded and embossed silver disks in half-moon and triangle shapes, set with carnelians. Silver wire and horn motifs decorate the border of the plates and twelve spherical pendants hang from six double-link chains.