4578

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Silver Filigree Belt Buckle with Tugra

Ottoman Turkey
19th century

length: 16cm, width: 8.6cm, weight: 148g

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Provenance

private collection, UK

This fine silver belt buckle is very much in the Ottoman style. Ottoman empire rulers and warriors wore belts and elaborate, over-sized buckles as symbols of their power and rank. The fashion for such ostentatious belts was largely over by the mid-19th century. The example here is small and probably intended for a child or a woman.

Formed from three separate panels of fine, silver filigree curls within stiff silver borders and decorated with star motifs with attached floral and rectangular bosses.

The belt is closed by means of a long silver pin which is attached to the belt by means of a double single chain.

The buckle is decorative and of high-grade silver. It is in excellent condition and is without obvious losses or repairs. The reverse has multiple assay sampling marks and the remains of a tugra – the mark of the Ottoman sultan as a guarantee of assayed silver purity.

A related example is illustrated in Borel (1994, p. 120).

The example here is in excellent condition.

References

Borel, F., The Splendour of Ethnic Jewelry: From the Colette and Jean-Pierre Ghysels Collection, Thames & Hudson, 1994.

Koc, A., et al, Istanbul: The City and the Sultan, Nieuwe Kerk, 2007.

Kurkman, G., Ottoman Silver Marks, Mathusalem Publications, 1996.

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