This silver plate, known as a gonjuk, or lozenge shaped ornament, is Teke Turkoman in design. Although the design dates it to late 1900?۪s early 20th century, it is, unusually, inscribed with the date in Arabic, on the rear, to around 1913-1914. It also has the signature of the silversmith, not identified. The piece is in perfect condition, with all dangles and gemstones intact. The carnelians are cabochon cut. The plates would have been worn individually, or in pairs, as a clasp for coats (chapraz). They were traditionally combined with other ornaments to form large pieces of adornment, particularly for weddings or other major celebrations, and smaller segments would have been worn for other less formal occasions. The hook on the right side would have been to join it to its other half.
Beautiful soft wear commensurate with its age and value in the family. All pieces are intact and there is no sign of repair. This would have been part of a greater piece like a temporal or body ornament. These were worn for truly special occasions.
It has two table cut old carnelians, which show soft signs of wear and use, considering their age is more than 100 years. This would make a fabulous neck ornament or just a great piece for your Turkmen collection. I found it in Istanbul. Very good condition with beautiful soft patina. I have not polished this piece up to its possible glory.
For more information on these pieces, see from page 144 of ???Turkmen Jewelery – silver ornaments from the Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf collection”
A bit of Turkmen history !
Turkmen Jewellery has a particularly distinct style that has been coveted throughout the centuries for its intricate workmanship, exquisite designs and ornamental quality. These jewels of Central Asia – from Turkmenostan and I ran, were made by the urban silversmiths and Turkmen tribal craftsmen throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Their elegant forms, geometric shapes and delicate openwork tell the story of a culture as much as having decorative impact. All pieces are worked with silver, over which gold leaf is fire gilded, creating warm, beautiful patterns that contrast with gemstones, most often cabochon or table cut carnelian and lapis.
Turkmen jewellery is highly collectible. The pieces you’ll find today were often part of greater temple pieces, head dresses and crowns, pectorals and wall decorations.