Enquiry about object: 6924

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    Central Asian Uzbek Head Ornament (Bodom-oy)

    Khanate of Kiva, Xorazm (Khorezm), Region, Uzbekistan
    late 19th century-early 20th century

    length: approximately 17.5cm, width: 10cm, weight: 142g



    private European collection

    – scroll down to see further images –

    This fine head ornament in triple-paisley form is known as a bodom-oy (sometimes spelt as bodom-oi) and is from the Uzbeks and related peoples of the Khanate of Kiva, in the Xorazm Region of what is now Uzbekistan.

    It is of gilded silver, silver, turquoise cabochons, coral beads, and garnets or other similar red stone. The back is enclosed with hammered sheet silver.

    Such jewellery was worn by a bride and was a demonstration of her family’s wealth. The almond-shaped elements are said to signify aspirations for prosperity because almond trees are the first to blossom in spring. In pairs such ornaments were worn on either side of the head and temporal ornaments; otherwise they might have been worn over the forehead.

    Similar examples are illustrated in Seiwert (2009, p. 220), Geoffroy-Schneiter (2011, p. 56), Geoffrey-Schneiter (2012, p. 130) and Ghose (2016, p. 159).

    This example could have a loop added at the top and be worn as a pendant.

    Several strands defficient.  Old holes in the upper edge suggest that it might have been decorated with more beads at one stage. But overall, this is a fine, decorative piece with clear age.


    van Cutsem, A., A World of Head Ornaments: Africa, Asia Oceania, America, Skira, 2005.

    Ghose, M. (ed.), Vanishing Beauty: Asian Jewelry and Ritual Objects from the Barbara and David Kipper Collection, Art Institute of Chicago, 2016.

    Geoffroy-Schneiter, B., Asian Jewellery: Ethnic Rings, Bracelets, Necklaces, Earrings, Belts, Head Ornaments, Skira, 2011.

    Geoffrey-Schneiter, B., Bijoux des Toits du Monde de la Chine au Caucase, Foundation Baur, Musee des Artes D’Extreme-Orient/5 Continents, 2012.

    Seiwert, W.D., Jewellery from the Orient: Treasures from the Bir Collection, Arnoldsche Art Publishers, 2009.

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