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This rare and impressive pair of Bukharan ear pendants or temporals known as kadjak, to be worn down the side of the face, earring like, but not necessarily suspended from the ears, is the most complete set we have seen.
Each comprises fine, high-carat gold wrapped over a substrate and set with ruby and emerald-coloured stones and pearls and with eight pendant strands of stones and fine gold plaques set with turquoise. The lower section of each comprises a circular section over which a segmented hoop rises. This hoop is set with stones and has a fringe on each side of tiny pendant pearls.
Each is suspended from a stiff twisted silver wire frame, which might have been slipped over the ear or used to suspend the item from a headdress.
The form of each is believed to be based on a fish or a bird, and harks back to pre-Islamic archaic zoomorphic forms.
The reverse of each is impressed with split-leaf palmette motifs.
The exotic nature of these ornaments reflects the cross-cultural trade-oriented location of Bukhara along various central Asian trade routes whilst remaining sympathetic to the Islamic aesthetic.
The condition of each of the pair is excellent. There are very minor and barely discernible losses to some of the pendant dangles.
Ghose, M. (ed.), Vanishing Beauty: Asian Jewelry and Ritual Objects from the Barbara and David Kipper Collection, Art Institute of Chicago, 2016.