Antique Silver St. George Necklace or Gerdanlik
This is a rare St. George necklace from the late 19th or early 20th century called Gerdanlik in Turkish. This type of necklace is Ottoman and was worn by women of various ethnicities under Ottoman rule from Algeria to Armenia and had many variations. This one is most likely from the western Black Sea coastal region. I found a necklace with similar elements displayed in Edirne Museum. http://www.pbase.com/dosseman/image/121069301
The necklace has three tiers. The first is snake or dragon shaped element. This is strung on a mesh strand. The element in the middle has green enamel and garnet colored cabochons. The mid tier is another repousse element and the final tier is boteh shaped dangles with hand repousse in the shape of a flower. The middle part has a big repousse medallion in the shape of St. George slaying the dragon. This element is missing its dangles. I am not sure if this big medallion was ever part of the original necklace or was added later when the original dangles were lost. St. George was venerated in Balkan areas as well as in the Levant and Ethiopia, but I believe the medallion is Balkan in origin.
The whole necklace tests positive for low grade silver and has a faint gold wash. It closes by tying the mesh fabric ends.
- Length is 69 cm (27").
- The central medallion measures 5 cm (2") across.
- Weight is 77 g.