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Belt clasp

Belt clasp

  • Place of origin:

    Turkey (made)

  • Date:

    1750-1850 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver filigree with green and turquoise enamel

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Throughout the lands of the former Ottoman Empire, from the north Balkans to the Caucasus, large and elaborate waist clasps were the most important item in a woman’s dowry. These clasps come in a small number of basic designs including the distinctive shape, shown here on the two side parts, which is sometimes described as a stylised tulip. They were attached by the bars on the back to a cloth belt which the owner made herself and fastened by a vertical pin. The chains which hold the pin fastener hung down decoratively over the front of the clasp.

This example was described as Albanian when it was acquired by the Museum in 1891. This may be true, but the workmanship is more typical of Armenian jewellery from Anatolia of the late 18th and 19th centuries.

Physical description

Large silver filigree three-part clasp with green and turquoise enamelled bosses attached by rivets. It has a pin fastening between the centre and the right-hand part, as worn, which is attached to the clasp by six graduated chains hanging over the front. The centre part of the clasp is shaped like a stylised tulip with a pointed base. The two side parts are the same shape, but smaller, attached to the centre at right angles with the bases indented to fit round the central part. The filigree ground is richly decorated with applied domes, rosettes, lozenges and tear drops. There is a wide sheet metal rim on the back of the central part with decorative edge, and there are wide bars with scalloped edges on the back of the two side parts for attachment.

Place of Origin

Turkey (made)


1750-1850 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silver filigree with green and turquoise enamel

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed on back of central section, at bottom.

Object history note

Formerly in the Zouche Collection.

Descriptive line

Large silver filigree clasp with green and turquoise enamel bosses, Turkey, 1750-1850.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

For a similar example, see:
Borel, France. 'The Splendour of Ethnic Jewelry: From the Colette and Jean-Pierre Ghysels Collection', Thames & Hudson Ltd, 1994, ISBN: 978-0500016404, p.120.






Jewellery; Metalwork


Middle East Section

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