Belt thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Belt

1870-1920 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This rich belt is typical of the silver work produced in the Ottoman Empire at the end of the 19th century. It would have been worn by a wealthy urban woman, as part of her traditional costume, throughout Anatolia and the Balkans.

It was probably made by Armenian silversmiths working in the town of Van. The designs of the plaques, showing buildings, flowers, trophies and other characteristic motifs, are picked out in niello, a metallic compound which was often called ‘Van work’ in Ottoman Turkey.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silver decorated with filigree and niello
Brief Description
Silver hinged belt decorated with filigree and niello pictorial plaques, Van (Turkey), 1870-1920.
Physical Description
Silver belt consisting of 14 rectangular segments hinged together. Each segment has an oval plaque in the centre surrounded by a border of granules faceted to look like cut-steel, with a vertical facetted applique at one side, over the hinge. Each central plaque is decorated with a niello picture, including buildings, flowers, birds, trophies and a tughra surrounded by a wreath. The segment at each end of the belt is pierced with a keyhole for fastening. The clasp is shaped like a lozenge squeezed in the centre to form two smaller lozenges, and is attached by a hinge to one of the end segments. It has a large filigree bow on the front, decorated with faceted granules in the same way as the belt, and has three matching pear-shaped pendants, each with smaller pendants of spiral wire, hanging from its lower edge. There is a short stem with an enlarged end on the back of the clasp, to hook safely into the keyhole of the segment at the far end.
Credit line
Given by Miss R.V. Dinjian
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Summary
This rich belt is typical of the silver work produced in the Ottoman Empire at the end of the 19th century. It would have been worn by a wealthy urban woman, as part of her traditional costume, throughout Anatolia and the Balkans.



It was probably made by Armenian silversmiths working in the town of Van. The designs of the plaques, showing buildings, flowers, trophies and other characteristic motifs, are picked out in niello, a metallic compound which was often called ‘Van work’ in Ottoman Turkey.

Collection
Accession Number
M.98-1969

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record createdJune 24, 2009
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