Accessories through the Ages

Freer and Sackler Galleries

As New York Fashion Week struts toward its final round of shows, all eyes are on the apparel—and on the accessories

After all, you can’t truly dress to impress without the proper accoutrements, a tenet that discerning dressers seem to have embraced for millennia. Take, for example, the vivid splash of cerulean offered by this string of glazed-clay beads pictured above, which may date as far back as Late Period Egypt (712–332 BCE).

Spinning to the opposite side of the color wheel (and to some two thousand years later), this Chinese necklace, dating to the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), comprises coral, amber, and gold beads.

Women also decorated their wrists in Qing dynasty China. The bracelet displayed above is made of jade, known in China as the “fairest of stones.”

This gold bracelet likely would have been worn as one of a pair by an elite Chinese woman. Within the filigree design, two dragons play with a magic pearl.

Glamorous Gold
Gold, unsurprisingly, has been shaped into fine adornments for centuries across the globe. Both the ring and these earrings are hollow, fashioned from gold sheets. Made in twelfth-century Iran, the ring bears Arabic inscriptions that read in part, “Good fortune and blessing and joy and sovereignty.” The earrings, created in India circa 1880, are typically worn by Muslim women in the southern state of Kerala, along the country’s west coast.
Brilliant Blue
Circling back to brilliant blue: these three Qing dynasty Chinese hair ornaments, fashioned from kingfisher feathers, are nothing short of stunning. We wouldn’t be surprised to see contemporary versions of these accessories accenting the updos at a fashion week sometime soon.
Credits: Story

Joelle Seligson is digital editor at the Freer|Sackler.

http://bento.si.edu/from-the-collections/ancient-near-east/nyfw-accessories/

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Translate with Google
Home
Explore
Nearby
Profile