Learn all about the Turkish Ottoman jewelry which has become a favourite among women all around the world. Read our guide for more facts and information…
The art of Ottoman jewelry making dates back to 1526 according to the court records which show that there were 90 jewelry artisans. This art reached its peak in the 16th century when precious stones, silver and gold were used in jewelry as well as everyday objects such as weapons, book covers etc. Various materials were used in these articles such as ivory, glass, wood, leather, mother of pearl and metals like zinc.
Modern Turkish Jewelry
Today the Turkish industry has greatly expanded by combining its 5,000 year old history with intricate designs and extensive product lines. Turkey has gained the place of the second largest jewelry exporter. Turkey exports to 136 countries including USA, Italy, Germany, UAE and Israel. Their extensive production facilities allow the local companies to cater to international demand.
Their design teams are among the world’s largest teams which specialize in both gold and silver jewelry. The Turkish jewelry companies are also among the trend setters in jewelry designing. They are successful in attracting international customers because of the Turkish and Anatolian history combined with the unique models and designs.
Since the 18th century Western fashion trends have led to an increase in the demand for Ottoman jewelry all over the world. This jewelry was produced in workshops as well as palaces, designed using natural motifs which showcased the trends and taste of those times. The increase in stones and mines also facilitated the jewelry production.
Ottoman jewelry is known to be ornate, intricate and colourful. It is different from European jewelry because instead of the same metal being used in all the pieces, ottoman jewelry makes use of different metals to fashion the pieces. The Ottoman jewelry also follows a strict symmetry whereby the metal and the nature of the stone is shaped to make it most prominent.
Ottoman jewelry has some staple pieces which have been used from olden days till today.
The aigrettes were popular in the olden days when it was a symbol of power due to its appearance and shape. Used by the rulers and prominent women alike. They were also given away as awards and presents by the Sultan.
Chokers and Necklaces
Chokers and long necklaces were a favourite among the well to do Ottoman ladies. Gold and silver chains have gold coins strung on them.
Pins were also key pieces worn by women as head ornaments. These were placed directly on their hair, pinned to crests or used as brooches of dresses. The Titrek or Zenberekli are popular Ottoman pins which dangle with body movements.
The motifs are symbols of nature such as birds, bees and butterfly and flowers such as roses, tulips, violets among other symbols. Flower motifs were preferred as hair pieces.
Earrings are one of the oldest pieces of ottoman jewelry which have been used for centuries. They come in many sizes and shapes, from small studded pearls and stones to long dangling ones. They have always held a special place in Turkish jewelry as they highlight the hairstyle and complete the woman’s outfit.
The simple gold bangles are not only considered to be jewelry but are bought as an investment to be converted into cash by their owners whenever needed. The women of the Ottoman Palace bought these bracelets from time to time depending on their financial position. There are many other styles of bracelets which women preferred in the early days such as the twisted type or cuff style.
Turkish ottoman jewelry make great statement jewelry pieces and so add them to your collection to stand out from the rest.