OTTOMAN ERA WESTERN ARMENIAN CEREMONIAL JEWELRY
Three silver pieces with micro granulation from Van, Anatolia, 19th c. includes a massive parcel gilt maiden's belt buckle (khamar) with inlaid nephrite crescent, coral and turquoise ornaments; Two women's forehead adornments (two makhchas) with foil-backed garnets or carnelians, turquoise, coral or nephrite, both with granulated drop fringe. Buckle 6 1/2" x 9 1/4". 825.5 gs. Provenance: From the Estate Frances Yeend, renowned American classical soprano. Note: A strikingly similar buckle was collected by an expedition dispatched by Tzar Nicholas II to rescue Van Region artifacts from imminent loss to Ottoman Empire forces during the massacre of Armenians, which began in April 1915. The buckle is on display at The Russian Museum of Ethnography and depicted in catalog "Treasures of Western Armenia". Buckle, figure 205, and head adornments, figure 146.Ottoman Era Armenian Jewelry of Cultural and Historical Importance Armenian jewelry that pre-dates the 20th century is rare. Jewelry of this quality of jewelry is the rarest of all: The Armenian Museum in France and the Metropolitan Museum of Art have significant collections of costume and artifacts, but no jewelry of this caliber. Christie's has sold Armenian lots, but none compare. Their opulence is matched only by the pieces in the collection of the Russian Museum of Ethnography in St. Petersburg, which were collected by a decree of Tsar Nicholas II. In fact, we have three pieces identical to ones illustrated in its publication ÒTreasures of Western ArmeniaÓ. This collection was brought to Rago as an afterthought, a box of tribal jewelry that had been sitting in the basement for ages, thrown into the car when the consignor made the trip from Pittsburgh to show us "real" jewelry.
Sale Price: $3,500
Estimate: $1,000 - $2,000