Woman’s Gold, Silver & Turquoise Belt
late 19th century
dimensions: 46cm x 28.5cm, total weight: 418g
This T-shaped belt comprises three heavy straps of multiple joined strands of thickly plaited silver wire inset with filigree silver gilt medallions, and a central medallion also inset with a gilded filigree plate. The gilded medallions are in turn inset with turquoise coloured cabochons.
Belts such as these were worn with the central strap hanging down freely. On important occasions, long strands of pearls, coral and turquoise beads were attached to the wheel-like end of the central strap. These looped down almost to the ground and back up again where they were attached to the main garment somewhere near the shoulder.
A belt of similar form is illustrated in Casey Singer, J., Gold Jewelry from Tibet and Nepal, Thames and Hudson, 1996, p. 142; and in Clarke, J., Jewellery of Tibet and the Himalayas, V&A Publications, 2004, p. 67.
Inventory no.: 593