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Vintage Kurdish or Assyrian Head Ornament

Vintage Kurdish or Assyrian Head Ornament

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This unique item is from Iraq, either Kurdish or Assyrian. Probably from the first half of the 20th century if not earlier. It was worn pinned to the headdress as a temporal. Often there were two, one on each side, but I have also seen pictures of women wearing only one such ornament to one side of the turban.

The headdress pin has magic numbers in its composition. The lunar shapes at the bottom have three edges and three dangles. They are like a blend between the crescent moon and the hand motif. In the middle of the lunar shape is a blue bead to ward off the evil eye. There are 7 such lunar shapes connected to the central sun or flower shape by handmade chains.  The sun or flower shape has 9 small blue beads embedded in wax material around the bigger central bead which looks like a type of ceramic or glass. Two chains connect to the one pin that attaches this beauty to the headdress.

The ornament tests as silver on a scratch test. It is in great condition for its age, with only two missing small beads missing from the lunar shapes. Great for a collector's or a museum collection.


  • Length is 22 cm (8 1/2")
  • The pin is 6 cm (2 3/8")
  • Weight is 70 g.

My thanks to the esteemed collector Jean-Marie Criel for helping me narrow down the origin of this necklace.

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