Odaklan The History and Evolution of Silver Jewelry Making in Anatolia
The first major silver mines and jewelry specimens were recorded around 4000 BC in Anatolia. It was mostly the primary source of silver for many of the growing cultures in that region of the world and others that trade in silver.
Silver has been used for thousands of years in jewelry and utensils, in commerce, and as the basis for many monetary systems. However, the main primary use of silver is its beauty and attractiveness as an element of jewelry.
Silver has always been known to enhance the beauty of gemstones placed in a ring or necklace.
Since the discovery of silver, Anatolia has been a major center for the production of silver jewelry considering a land that has developed its own techniques and forms in the art of jewelry production for thousands of years. All the civilizations that inhabited Anatolia produced many things for religious and artistic purposes.
People worked with minerals, which sometimes included precious and semiprecious stones. People use
Minerals, and this sometimes includes precious and semiprecious stones. The Hittites, Urartu, Phrygians, Ionians, Lydians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, and Ottomans all established their rule in Anatolia and created their own styles of jewelry.
Riz style among the various types of jewelry was brought to Anatolia by the Seljuks. Their great influence on the Turkish jewelry heritage is evidenced by Turkmen jewelry that originated in Central Asia and is still produced and worn in Turkmen tribes. Colorful gemstones and pieces of glass with symbolic meanings as well as silver and gold are used in this jewelry which is still produced and worn in Turkey.
During the Ottoman period, the goldsmith’s art gained great importance. Many goldsmiths came to Istanbul from Khorasan, Tabriz, Bosnia, the Balkans, the Russian border, and other parts of the Ottoman Empire in order to display their products and capabilities. And with the rise of the empire, it became much easier for goldsmiths to find the minerals and gemstones they needed for production. During and after the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, Istanbul became one of the most prominent centers of jewelry in the world.
Traditional Turkish jewelry-making techniques include perforations (telkari), savat, and wickerwork (hasir).
Perforation is the technique by which an artist creates motifs by soldering together fine silver or gold wires. Since the wire used is often very thin, this technique requires an almost infinite degree of patience. In the past, perforations were used for women’s belts, bracelets, earrings, and pins. Perforated women’s accessories are now produced in a few places in Istanbul and in two places in Anatolia, Bipazari, and Mardin.
The inlay technique consists of small, finely crafted pieces of hand-painted enamel that are divided into precious metals. In Al-Amloud’s works, another technique is used by Turkish jewelers, whereby thin wires are woven together. Amlod is mostly used for silver jewelry such as necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Most wicker products are used in Mardin, Bebazari, and Trabzon.
Today, Kapalıçarşı (Istanbul Covered Bazaar) is one of the most important centers of silver jewelry in Turkey Kapalıçarşı dates back to the 15th century. The heart of the bazaar was built between 1451 and 1481 during the reign of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror.
The bazaar was the domestic and international trade center of the Ottoman Empire and it is still the most important commercial center in Istanbul for handicrafts it is famous all over the world. It is assumed that approximately 90% of the silver used in Turkey is used in Kapalıçarşı. You can also find silver jewelry items that come from Trabzon, Eskisehir, Bipazari, Mardin, Midyat, Urfa, and Gaziantep.
Turkish jewelry is inspired by rare unique collections of jewelry from the different civilizations and cultures that lived in Anatolia. In addition, artisanal and high-tech production techniques coexist in jewelry design and production. Now, Turkish jewelers can combine this unique, historical, and cultural heritage with modern production and design capabilities and present their products to the world.
Source: the Republic of Turkey – Ministry of Trade -2019