Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Accessories for the plot: Jewellery

My heroine is in Constantinople in the year 1811. Jewellery was an age old art in the Ottoman Empire. Between her own selection and the traditional pieces the hero gives her, Olivia has many fine jewels by the end of the book.

A silver filigree and carnelian pendant
a pair of gold and diamond earrings [Top Kapi Museum ]
The Art Of Jewelry In The Ottoman Court, Gold And Diamond Earings, Topkapi Museum
a gold and diamond bracelet with an emerald [Topkapi Museum]

The Art Of Jewelry In The Ottoman Court

A hand mirror

Güherse jewellery

The term güherse refers to decoration consisting of tiny metal beads welded onto articles made of silver and gold. Güherse is a very ancient ornamental technique for metalwork, probably discovered because of the natural tendency for the noble metals to form drops when cooling from the fluid state. Mesopotamia, a region which was cradle to civilisation in many different respects, is also where güherse work was first discovered. It was in the hands of Turkish jewellers, however, that it was taken to its final stage of refinement. During the Ottoman period jewellers became so expert that today it is virtually impossible to replicate their work.
Güherse involves overcoming two major problems; the first to produce equal sized drops, and the second to weld these to the metal surface of the object. The Ottomans mastered this technique to perfection, producing beautiful works of art. [From M Zeki Kusoglu ]

The Art Of Guherse                                     The Art Of Guherse

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