Pair of Woman’s Ear Pendants
These ornaments were not worn in the ear itself, but appended to a Tibetan woman’s headdress near the ears to frame the face. They served to demonstrate her personal wealth and social status. The most highly prized, sky-blue turquoise originated from mines near Nishapur in Khorosan, Iran, and was traded to Tibet via India; darker colored turquoise came from both Tibet and China. The color turquoise was important to Tibetans as a reference to the sky and lakes, while the mineral turquoise was thought to have powers that added to its appeal as a material for personal adornment. According to the Blue Beryl, an important Tibetan medical treatise written by Sangye Gyatso (1653–1705), turquoise had healing properties: an antidote for poison and a cure for diseases, including liver ailments.
Silver inlaid with turquoise
17th or 18th century
1 1/2 × 1 × 4 in. (3.8 × 2.5 × 10.2 cm)
Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc.
This item is not on view
Pair of Woman’s Ear Pendants, 17th or 18th century. Silver inlaid with turquoise, 1 1/2 × 1 × 4 in. (3.8 × 2.5 × 10.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc., 86.227.43a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 86.227.43a-b_acetate_bw.jpg)
group, 86.227.43a-b_acetate_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
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