This unique pair of matching pendants was created to decorate the sides of a high-ranking lady's headdress. Made by an Ersari Turkoman (Turkmen) craftsman in very high grade silver, set with natural orange carnelian and green glass cabochon stones. The shape mimics a stylized turtle symbolizing renewal and abundant femininity. The pendants are each set with five long dangles in the shape of leaves, a typical Ersari motif.
Lenticular or eye-shaped carnelians are common decorations in Central Asian fine jewelry, believed to protect the wearer from the evil eye.
This tribal pendant pair is an excellent example of Ersari Turkmen jewelry - it is particularly difficult to find intact pairs that have not been split up for sale. They are very wearable, particularly as a magnificent pair of tribal earrings and are of museum quality. The patina and wear of the silver and the stones are in keeping with a known age of early 20th century. Collected by my father Bernard Heaphy in Afghanistan in the 1980's.
Total height including dangles 14 cm (5.5 in)
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