An image that helps us in judging whether the belt shown was worn by both women and men. (Posted by Rick Scott on "ethnic jewels" in 2013). Caption: "The Palace Guard by Ludwig Deutsch (1900-02), oil on panel, Moorish warrior with battle standard, wearing a zirah (mail shirt), and Ottoman belt with carnelian stones with various Indo-Persian weapons tucked into the belt. Close up view." It is the belt, here, which people who know the Ethnic Jewellery and Adornment page on Facebook will recognise. (We show an example right at the top of the page.) The painting shows that Deutsch judged that, c. 1900, such a belt was worn by an Egyptian male; one armed at that. If he had believed that it was a female ornament he would not have been so perverse as to place it on a man, as that would have been disapproved of both in Cairo and in Paris, where he finished and sold his paintings. These so-called Arnauten belts from the Balkans were undoubtedly brought into Egypt by male body guards and soldiers (protecting the Ottoman) from the Balkans who, on behalf of the Ottoman, came to rule the roost in Egypt in the early 19th c and stayed on, exercising control. The Arnauten belts, worn by bodyguards for the Ottoman, were described by at least one highly competent and very leaned judge in Austria as such (i.e. as male wear) c. 1970. This person, Mais, was the leading Oriental Art expert in Austria at that time. He was a highly specialised and learned scholar. Much earlier, during the period 1910-16, another Austrian curator had already remarked that these belts were worn by the bodyguards for the King of Montenegro in the Balkans (1910-16): before and after those years Montenegro had no King, so this shows that the belts were definitely worn by the Montenegrin bodyguards in the early 20th c., while they were obviously also still worn by Arnauten who invaded Egypt, from the Balkans, in the early 19th c. I add that Austrian curators are usually very highly educated and responsible professonals - not amateurs as in many other places (such as the Metropolitan in some sections currently). They would not lightly commit themselves to a description.
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