Ethnic Jewels

An appreciation of ethnic jewellery and adornment

Vintage Afghan bracelet with Turquoise - Tribal Kuchi Jewelry
Afghanistan, the Pashtuns, 19th, - first half or middle of the 20th century
Silver, filigree,
Insets -genuine turquoise,
connection by pin,
Width at center is 35mm
Diameter - 54mm
Weight - 45g.
Judging by the fine work is the work of an experienced jeweler from major cities (Kabul, presumably), but such ornaments were produced for sale in the Pashtun tribes. Such jewelry fine workmanship of high-grade silver could afford only the rich families, people in easier content with coarser jewelry made from cheap alloys.
The frequent use of turquoise inlay accents reminiscent of traditional Uzbek jewelry, but unlike Uzbek, Afghan jewelry, this style is no gilding, enamel, and polychrome panels of glass and gems. Products combine the exquisite filigree pattern, alternating stamped overlays, however, some rigor inherent in the decorations of nomads.

Since ancient times, Afghan master jewelers were famous as skilled jewelers. Jewelry from Afghanistan were exported to other countries of Central Asia, Iran and Middle East countries.

Now such ornaments of silver fine workmanship can be seen only in Museum collections and private collections.
Since the mid-20th century, the production of such traditional jewelry lost, and later was made mostly just rude imitations of old forms of cheap alloys and modern jewelry in European style.


1. Alfred Janata. Schmuck in Afganistan. / Janata A. - Graz: Akademische Druck – u. Verlagsanstalt, 1981. - s. 72-73
2. Layla S. Diba. Turkmen Jewelery. Silver Ornaments from the Marshall an Marilin R. Wolf Collection / Layla S. Diba – New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art 2011 – p. 166
3. Wolf Dieter Slwert. Jewellery from the Orient. Treas-ures from the Bir Collection. / Wolf-Dieter Slwert – Stuttgart: Arnoldshe 2009 – 192-194p.

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Created by Cordelia Donohoe Apr 10, 2017 at 4:03pm. Last updated by Cordelia Donohoe Apr 17, 2017.

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