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-   -   Ottoman or Balkan carnelian belts. (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=19724)

estcrh 17th March 2015 12:41 PM

Ottoman or Balkan carnelian belts.
 
6 Attachment(s)
I am looking for any information on these large impressive carnelian belts. Historically they have a couple of different story lines, they have been shown in 1800s orientalist paintings as being worn by harem guards in Khedival Egypt and also a very similar belt is shown being worn by a woman in a painting from the same time period.

One Polish museum has an example being worn with a mail shirt, another Balkan museum display shows one being worn as a womans assessory. There is a photograph from Albania showing a woman wearing one and a couple of other photos of very similar but slightly different belts being worn by women.

Arms dealers have sold them as being a sword belt based on the paintings and the Polish museum display while some antique jewelry dealers have sold them as being a womans belt. Any additional information would be appreciated.

VANDOO 17th March 2015 04:56 PM

VERY INTERESTING AND ATTRACTIVE BELTS. I HAVE SEEN SOME OF THESE PICTURES BUT ALWAYS IGNORED THE BELTS WHILE LOOKING AT THE WEAPONS. :) IT SHOULD BE POSSIBLE FOR AN EXPERT IN STONE TO FIND THE REGION WHERE THE CARNELIAN WAS FOUND. THIS AGATE IS FOUND ALL OVER THE WORLD BUT THERE ARE REGIONAL VARIATIONS. THE OTHER CLUES WOULD BE AS TO WHERE THE STONES WERE WORKED AND THE METAL AND LEATHER WORK DONE. THE BELT WOULD BE HEAVY AND COULD EVEN OFFER SOME PROTECTION TO THE BELLY. CARNELIAN HAS BEEN POPULAR WORLD WIDE FOR A VERY LONG TIME. IT MAY BE BECAUSE OF THE COLOR AND BEAUTY OF THE STONE OR THERE MAY BE SOME SPECIAL POWERS OR BELIEFS ASSOCIATED WITH THE STONE. :shrug:

Battara 17th March 2015 11:01 PM

The problem is that carnelian was semi-precious and worn all over the Ottoman Empire. I believe it was to ward off evil.

estcrh 18th March 2015 02:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
VERY INTERESTING AND ATTRACTIVE BELTS. I HAVE SEEN SOME OF THESE PICTURES BUT ALWAYS IGNORED THE BELTS WHILE LOOKING AT THE WEAPONS. :) IT SHOULD BE POSSIBLE FOR AN EXPERT IN STONE TO FIND THE REGION WHERE THE CARNELIAN WAS FOUND. THIS AGATE IS FOUND ALL OVER THE WORLD BUT THERE ARE REGIONAL VARIATIONS. THE OTHER CLUES WOULD BE AS TO WHERE THE STONES WERE WORKED AND THE METAL AND LEATHER WORK DONE. THE BELT WOULD BE HEAVY AND COULD EVEN OFFER SOME PROTECTION TO THE BELLY. CARNELIAN HAS BEEN POPULAR WORLD WIDE FOR A VERY LONG TIME. IT MAY BE BECAUSE OF THE COLOR AND BEAUTY OF THE STONE OR THERE MAY BE SOME SPECIAL POWERS OR BELIEFS ASSOCIATED WITH THE STONE. :shrug:



So were did these carnelians originate? I did find this clue. Here is a paragraph from "Through Bosnia and the Herzegovina on foot during the insurrection, August and September 1875 : with an historical review of Bosnia, and a glimpse at the Croats, Slavonians, and the ancient republic of Ragusa" (1877) by Arthur John Evans. While looking for the origin of vast quanities of antique gem stones that were found in Epidaurus and throughout Illyria (the Balkans) he made this discovery.

Quote:
The clue towards solving the mystery is, I think, to be found in the abundance, in the interior of Bosnia and the Herzegovina, of just the same stones engraved as Turkish amulets and talismans, to which attention has been called already. In parts of the Herzegovina these stones are accounted so cheap that they are worn for merely ornamental purposes.

Some of the rayah women, who had taken refuge in Eagusa from Nevesinje and the neighbouring districts of the Herzegovina, wore broad belts studded like ephods with suchlike stones.

These were mostly, like the antique gems of Epidaurus, carnelian and agate, but I also noticed a few amethysts and one or two roots-of-emerald; they were rudely cut, and none, as far as I saw, engraved. On enquiring whence they came, the women told me that they picked them up in their own country, especially in a valley near Nevesmje. Here, it seems to me, is the true clue to the origin of the Roman intaglios. The raw material must have been gathered in these inland valleys, and thence carried to Narona, Epidaurus, and the other great coast cities, there to be engraved with the elegant designs of classical mythology.

That there was a regular manufacture of such bijouterie in the Eoman cities of Dalmatia seems to be proved not only by the great abundance of these gems on their sites, but also by the fact that a very large proportion of these had evidently never been set in rings and other articles of jewellery, which would certainly be their ultimate destination.

In those found near the head of the aqueduct in Ragusa Vecchia, we have doubtless the stock-in-trade of some lapidary, probably lost during one of the earthquakesfrom which the ancient city suffered; and Signor Glavinich told me that he was convinced that Salona had been the seat of a regular manufacture of Eoman gems. Doubtless, were there sufficient evidence forthcoming, it would be found that Eoman Dalmatia was the seat of an export trade in such articles with other provinces of the empire.

Tatyana Dianova 20th March 2015 09:04 AM

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Male or female belt - it is really a difficult question, because there is evidence of being worn both by men and women. In ethnic jewellery world a piece is normally either male or female...

There was a great and long discussion on the subject with a lot of facts on the ethnic jewellery forum:

http://ethnicjewels.ning.com/photo/...terthegrtmuseum

Another one:
http://ethnicjewels.ning.com/photo/...-known-in-egypt

Yet another:
http://ethnicjewels.ning.com/photo/...ontext=lates t

The old picture of Albanians in Montenegro is also interesting:

estcrh 23rd March 2015 10:29 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatyana Dianova
Male or female belt - it is really a difficult question, because there is evidence of being worn both by men and women. In ethnic jewellery world a piece is normally either male or female...

There was a great and long discussion on the subject with a lot of facts on the ethnic jewellery forum

Tatyana, there is an ongoing discussion that is quite interesting here.
http://ethnicjewels.ning.com/photo/...e=msg_com_photo

I agree that it is unusual for a jewelry item to be worn by both a man and woman, also from two different cultures. It seems that these belts may have originated in the area of Albania, possibly as a womans belt, or at least they may have actually been worn by women in some point in time.

What is interesting is that the ruler of Egypt during the 1800s was an Ottoman soldier from Albania. Several Orientalist painters show Egyptian men wearing this type of belt. It is not hard to imagine an Albanian soldier or his wife selling an unused belt to an Ottoman while stationed in Egypt.

There is a carnelian belt that supposedly is in the Coptic Museum, Cairo Egypt, so somehow at least one of these belts ended up in Egypt, unfortunately there is no discription to go with the picture.

I just posted this here on the off chance that a forum member might have some additional information on the subject.

Tatyana Dianova 8th October 2015 10:04 AM

Additional information:

http://mystarseed.blogspot.de/2015/...pski.html#moreM

Oliver Pinchot 10th October 2015 06:08 PM

These belts are Balkan, and were produced primarily during the mid-19th century. They were originally intended as a woman's accoutrement.

They tend to be of very uniform workmanship, indicating they were produced in a particular center or centers. The mounts are brass or bronze and are cast, pierced, and occasionally simply engraved; these are among the least expensive of materials and techniques for producing jewelry. Carnelians were sold in strands of beads from Bohemia to Beijing, and were likewise among the most economical choices for self-adornment. Grinding and polishing them to shape (flat, in this case) is also a relatively simple procedure.

By comparison with other Balkan jewelry and accoutrements, their level of crafting implies that such belts were made to allow members of a median social strata to achieve a required level of status.

Regarding Orientalist paintings as reference materials: though there are exceptions, almost none of the Orientalists painted from life. While the details of individual weapons and other objects can be very useful, it would be wise to approach the context cautiously. Race, ethnicity, architecture, locale, costume and the particular juxtaposition of a group of arms in a given painting are almost entirely unreliable, since they were usually composed by the artist in order to achieve an aesthetic, rather than historical, sensibility.

estcrh 11th October 2015 01:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Pinchot

Regarding Orientalist paintings as reference materials: though there are exceptions, almost none of the Orientalists painted from life. While the details of individual weapons and other objects can be very useful, it would be wise to approach the context cautiously. Race, ethnicity, architecture, locale, costume and the particular juxtaposition of a group of arms in a given painting are almost entirely unreliable, since they were usually composed by the artist in order to achieve an aesthetic, rather than historical, sensibility.


Oliver, my research on the subject of the possible use of the carnelian belts in Khedival Egypt shows that many Orientalist painters actually traveled to the Middle East, especially Egypt. Many went out of their way to accurately represent what they saw, of course there many Orientalist painters but I can only find 5 that painted men wearing these carnelian belts.

I have a Pinterest page with all 12 painting by the 5 artists which show these belts, anyone can check the histories of the individual painters and see if they did travel to the Middle East or not. I have included all of the known photos of women wearing these belts as well.

While it is known that these were a womens belt in the Balkans, the question is whether a man was ever seen wearing one of these carnelian belts in Khedival Egypt or did one of the Orientalist painters suddenly just start painting a man wearing one of these belts for no reason other than he liked the belt.

https://www.pinterest.com/worldanti...s-and-european/

estcrh 11th October 2015 01:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatyana Dianova


Tatyana, thanks for remembering this thread and for posting this great link, while it does not answer my questions I am still interested in other aspects of these belts.
,

Kubur 12th October 2017 10:55 AM

5 Attachment(s)
Just to complement the previous discussion, we have a lot of examples of these belts used by men...

Kubur 12th October 2017 11:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh

There is a carnelian belt that supposedly is in the Coptic Museum, Cairo Egypt, so somehow at least one of these belts ended up in Egypt, unfortunately there is no discription to go with the picture.

I just posted this here on the off chance that a forum member might have some additional information on the subject.


If these belts ended in the balkans, Egypt and North Africa (see the paintings)
then maybe these belts are Ottoman!
Do you know any example from Turkey?

Best,
Kubur

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 20th October 2017 10:10 PM

There are many examples of Eastern European photographs showing women also wearing carnelian belts (jakicar). SEE https://www.pinterest.co.uk/worldan...ropean/?lp=true

Kubur 22nd October 2017 08:39 AM

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Well Oliver was right.
All the male examples are paintings and female are photographs.
Even the Montenegrin example doesnt show carnelian belts, look at this painted postcard (photo)...

estcrh 29th October 2017 05:11 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Well Oliver was right.
All the male examples are paintings and female are photographs.
Even the Montenegrin example doesnt show carnelian belts, look at this painted postcard (photo)...

Kuber, in the Balkans they were a womans belt. At some point in time they started to be painted and attributed as a mans belt. My question still is whether an orienalist painter ever saw an Ottoman man / Khedival Egyptian man wearing one or did some painter just decide it was a mans belt when first seeing one and started the whole "mans belt" controversy.


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