Late 19th or early 20th century
Central Asia: Turkmenistan, Iran, or Northern Afghanistan
Teke tribe (Turkmen)
Silver and carnelians
4 ⅛ × 3 × 2 7/16 in. (10.5 × 7.7 × 6.2 cm)
Bequest of David P. Harris ('46), 2020
Purchased by David P. Harris from the Endicott-Guthaim Gallery in New York on December 27, 1976.
Brad Hostetler, with Ani Parnagian, "From Private to Public: The Collection of David P. Harris," in Ethiopian Objects in the Blick-Harris Study Collection: Art, Context, and the Persistence of Form, eds. Brad Hostetler, and Lynn Jones, Peregrinations: Journal of Medieval Art & Architecture 8, no. 1 (Spring 2022): 5–25. https://digital.kenyon.edu/perejournal/vol8/iss1/1/
Consistent with Teke style, this silver armband consists of four identical tiers stacked on top of each other. Each tier contains four oval, polished, table-cut carnelians that are held in place by wire frame (16 total carnelian stones). Each translucent carnelian contains a horizontal channel through the middle. Because these channels are inconsistent with other similar pieces at the time, they provide evidence that the carnelians used in this armband are repurposed from an earlier time. This armband has raised portions throughout each tier where gold could be flame-gilded onto it. The raised portions are in the shape of eyes so that each carnelian forms the iris, and in between them are raised, perpendicular, mirrored petals. Each pattern seems to flow right to the edge of the next one, and it is repeated on each tier. It is a tapered cylinder in shape, and does not come to a close in the back. Rather, it is studded by 14 tines on each side which have engraved points.
Noruzi and Kermani suggest that geometric motifs prevented the evil eye, and that red agate or “blood stone” provides protection against bleeding, ulceration and abortion. Therefore, this may have been a piece worn by women in the Teke tribe.
Layla S. Diba, Turkmen Jewelry: Silver Ornaments from the Marshall and Marilyn Wolf Collection (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011).
Hossein Noruzi, and Imanzakariai Kermani, “Concepts of Motifs in Culture: a Review of the Jewelry of Turkmen Women,” Chitrolekha International Magazine on Art and Design 5, no. 2 (2015): 13–26.
Lauren Barrabee ’24, Tucker Fulton ’24, and Max Nonnenmacher ’24