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Antique Turkoman Button Made of Gold Gilted Silver and Colored Glass

Antique Turkoman Button Made of Gold Gilted Silver and Colored Glass

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This beautiful huge Turkoman button known as Gulyaka or Guljaka was worn on the collar to close the front of the dress, so surprisingly it was a part of everyday wear. It is made of a scalloped flat silver sheet that is covered by another layer that is worked in repousse designs. Another layer is domed at the center and decorated in the middle by a red glass cabochon surrounded by smaller blue glass cabochons. The outer border of the dome as well as the flat part of the button are also decorated with blue, green and red glass cabochons. The repousse designs according to Layla S. Diba in her book Turkmen jewelry, reference both floral forms and radiating sun.

The button is in good condition, but the protruding part on the back that fits into the collar is missing and there is a small hole in the outer border, I assume so that it can be worn as a pendant. It could also do with a polish but I leave that up to the buyer.

  • Diameter is 11.5 cm (4 1/2")
  • Weight 99.6 grams

A very similar example of this collar button can be seen in the Met museum's collection

and also in Johannes Kalter's The Arts and Crafts of Turkestan and Turkmen Jewelry by Layla S. Diba.

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