Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Miscellania
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 17th March 2015, 12:41 PM   #1
estcrh
Member
 
estcrh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,488
Send a message via AIM to estcrh
Default Ottoman or Balkan carnelian belts.

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.
Attached Images
      
estcrh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th March 2015, 04:56 PM   #2
VANDOO
(deceased)
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: OKLAHOMA, USA
Posts: 3,140
Thumbs up

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.
VANDOO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th March 2015, 11:01 PM   #3
Battara
EAAF Staff
 
Battara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 5,688
Default

The problem is that carnelian was semi-precious and worn all over the Ottoman Empire. I believe it was to ward off evil.
Battara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th March 2015, 02:39 PM   #4
estcrh
Member
 
estcrh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,488
Send a message via AIM to estcrh
Default

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.



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.
estcrh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th March 2015, 09:04 AM   #5
Tatyana Dianova
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 501
Default

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:
Attached Images
 
Tatyana Dianova is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd March 2015, 10:29 AM   #6
estcrh
Member
 
estcrh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,488
Send a message via AIM to estcrh
Default

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.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by estcrh : 23rd March 2015 at 10:40 AM.
estcrh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th October 2015, 10:04 AM   #7
Tatyana Dianova
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 501
Default

Tatyana Dianova is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2015, 06:08 PM   #8
Oliver Pinchot
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 279
Default

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.

Last edited by Oliver Pinchot : 10th October 2015 at 06:21 PM.
Oliver Pinchot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th October 2015, 01:22 PM   #9
estcrh
Member
 
estcrh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,488
Send a message via AIM to estcrh
Default

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 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th October 2015, 01:26 PM   #10
estcrh
Member
 
estcrh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,488
Send a message via AIM to estcrh
Default

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.
,
estcrh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th October 2017, 10:55 AM   #11
Kubur
Member
 
Kubur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,090
Default

Just to complement the previous discussion, we have a lot of examples of these belts used by men...
Attached Images
     
Kubur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th October 2017, 11:26 AM   #12
Kubur
Member
 
Kubur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,090
Default

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
Kubur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th October 2017, 10:10 PM   #13
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,945
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

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
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd October 2017, 08:39 AM   #14
Kubur
Member
 
Kubur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,090
Default

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)...
Attached Images
 
Kubur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2017, 05:11 AM   #15
estcrh
Member
 
estcrh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,488
Send a message via AIM to estcrh
Default

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.
estcrh is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 04:00 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.