Enquiry about object: 6925

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    Pair of Silver-Gilt & Niello Talismanic Amulets (Boyun Tumar)

    Samarkand or Tashkent, Uzbekistan
    19th century

    width of triangular amulet: 11.1cm, combined weight: 168g



    private European collection

    – scroll down to see further images –

    This pair of silver, parcel-gilt and niello amulet cases is either Kyrgyz or Uzbek and are known as boyun tumar in Uzbek.

    The triangular case opens on one side to allow talismanic or protective Koranic scripture to be inserted inside, and the rectangular example has a small hinged lid to the top.

    Both have been decorated with niello work on both sides and have been mercury-fire gilded (gold plated). Both sides of each also have been set with blue stones and blue glass cabochons. The rectangular box also has some red glass cabochons on one side.

    The rectangular box has a central gilded section with Arabic Koranic letters on both sides.

    The triangular box has a fringe of silver beads; the rectangular box has a fringe of suspended coral beads.

    Related jewellery is illustrated in Seiwert (2009, p. 212, 203 & 218), Leurquin (2003, p. 196) and Geoffroy-Schneiter (2011, p. 68).

    Both are fitted with loops at the top to allow suspension so they can be worn as pendants or chest ornaments.

    The examples here have obvious age. There are minor losses here and there, as indeed is the case with published examples.


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

    Leurquin, A., A World of Necklaces: Africa, Asia, Oceania, America from the Ghysels Collection, Skira, 2003.

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

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