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Head ornament (balgak)
Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Late 19th century
Gold sheet filled with bitumen, pearls, emeralds, rubies, tourmalines
H: 12.5; Circ: 51 cm
Permanent loan from Benjamin Zucker, New York
Accession number: L-B93.0036

Before the wedding, well-to-do Bukharan families would invite a goldsmith to their house, where he would make the jewelry for the bride, living there until the dowry preparations were completed. The jewelry was made of gold, colorful semiprecious stones, and pearls, some local and others imported, mainly from Russia. The jewelry remained the bride's private property throughout her life and was bequeathed to her daughters upon her death. This forehead ornament is a central component in the magnificent set of jewelry worn by Jewish women for holidays and ceremonies.


From the Israel Museum publications:
Ben Ami, Alia, ed., In All Their Finery: Jewels from the Jewish World, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2002
The Israel Museum, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2005

Exhibitions:
In All Their Finery: Jewels from the Jewish World, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 01/01/2000 - 30/09/2002

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir


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