Publication Date:

2/9/22

Revision Date:

3/11/22

Introduction to Uyğur Jewelry

An introduction to Uyğur jewelry based on my experiences as an antique collector

Traditional Uyğur Jewelry

 

Traditional Uyğur jewelry inherits much of its style from historical Turkic and Inner-Asian jewelry traditions. The pieces that fall under this category of Uyğur Jewelry typically possess a combination of the following traits:


  • Half-moon Shape

This shape is mostly utilized in hoop-style earrings such as the one seen above.


  • Abstract Cloud Shape

Cloud Shape 1 makes up the body of the this earring, while Cloud Shape 2 makes up the upper portion that is connected to the hook.

Cloud Shape 3 makes up the body of the this earring, while Cloud Shape 4 makes up the upper portion that is connected to the hook.

Cloud Shape 5 makes up this pendant.


Ultimately, these "cloud" shapes are derived from the Oğuz Tuğrıl or double-headed eagle shape.


  • Wheel Shape

Wheel shapes are essentially limited to these specific category of earrings.


  • Floral shape

This earring exhibits a rare type of floral shape in Uyğur jewelry.

Barring the Cloud Shape 2 tassel bead, the tassel beads of this (repurposed) necklace exhibit some of the more common types of floral medallion-like shapes in Uyğur jewelry.


  • Triangular shape

Found among Uyğur tassel pendants and in their variations of Tumars.


  • Rectangular shape



  • Silver content

  • Gold content (rare)

  • Enamel (somewhat rare)

  • Coil filigree with a center granule

  • Coiled wire filigree

  • Flower petal filigree

  • Crescent-shaped filigree

  • Floral filigree (typically 5 to 6, sometimes 8, petals)

  • Floral filigree terminals and ornaments

  • Ordos filigree

  • Dragon or "S"-shaped filigree (rare)

  • Granulation

  • Micro-granulation

  • Gems and stones (various)

  • Coral

  • Dragon / "S"-shaped chain

  • Turkmen / double-ladder chain

  • Ottoman / rolo chain (rare)

  • Diamond shaped charms

  • Afghan / kuchi charms

  • Turkmen charms (rare)