Bulgarian Folk Jewels

Revival Period Adornments from Bulgaria

By Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv

This exhibit reveals the splendour of Bulgarian Revival period jewels. Bulgarian women used them not only to adorn their clothing and rejoice the sight. Jewels were also believed to possess extraordinary powers to guard off bad spirits, to protect people from evil eye and to allure good luck, health and prosperity.

Nielo Silver Buckles, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Nielo Silver Buckles

Nielo Silver Buckles, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Nielo Silver Buckles, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Massive buckles in rectangular shape, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Massive Buckles in Rectangular Shape

Round Relief Silver Buckles, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Round Relief Silver Buckles, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Round Relief Silver Buckles

This perception of jewellery could be traced back since ancient times. Jewels have never ceased to be a whim, gift and of course, adornment. But they are also a claim for status and very often powerful spiritual guardians in important rites related to birth, death, engagement, marriage, holidays and everyday life.

Small round buckles, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Small Round Buckles

Gilded silver bracelet, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Combined Technique Gilded Silver Buckles, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Gilded Silver Buckles Combined Technique Gilded Silver Buckles

Silver Filigree and Incrustation Buckles, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Leaves Shaped Buckles, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Silver Filigree and Incrustation Buckles Leaves Shaped Buckles

Palmetto Buckles, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Palmetto Buckles, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Palmetto Buckles with Birds

All of these jewels are made in the traditional for Bulgarian goldsmithing techniques: casting, forging and filigree. These adornments are heavily decorated with granulation, encrustation, inlayed nacre and precious stones.

Silver Filigree Buckles with Stones, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Silver Filigree Buckles with Stones

Silver Filigree Buckles with Stones, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Silver Filigree Buckles with Stones, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Gilded Silver and Nacre Buckles, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Gilded Silver and Nacre Buckles with Two-Headed Eagles

Palmette Silver Filigree Buckles, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Palmette Silver Filigree Buckles

Gilded Silver and Nacre Buckles, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Palmette Silver Filigree Buckles, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Leaves Shaped Buckles with Nacre Incrustation, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Leaves Shaped Buckles with Nacre Incrustation

Filigree Crown Buckles, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Filigree Crown Buckles

Bead Belt with Silver Buckles, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Bead Belt with Silver Buckles

Golden Thread Belt with Granulated Buckles, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Golden Tread Belt with Granulated Silver Buckles

Jewels are indivisible part of the costume’s composition. Their lavished decoration and diversity are related to the historical and cultural background of the people who made and wore them. As an essential part of the traditional costume and its local specifics, jewels have played an important role in identity distribution, preservation and development.

Enameled Gilded Silver Belt, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Enameled Gilded Silver Belt, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Enameled Gilded Silver Belt, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Enameled Gilded Silver Belt

Silver Leather Belt, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Silver Leather Belt

Silver Leather Belt, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Silver Leather Belt

Leather Belt with Silver Applications, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Gilded Silver Filigree Belt, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Gilded Silver Filigree Belt Leather Belt with Silver Applications

Gilded Silver Filigree Belt, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Gilded Silver Filigree Belt

Gilded Silver Filigree Belt, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Gilded Silver Filigree Belt, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Gilded Silver Filigree Belt, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Goldthread Belt with Gilded Silver Clasp, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Goldthread Belt with Gilded Silver Clasp, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Goldthread Belt with Gilded Silver Clasp, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Goldthread Belt

Some of the most exquisite jewels are made of gilded sterling silver with tracery filigree. Here they are thematically distributed: buckles, belts, head adornments, necklaces, pectoral adornments, bracelets and rings.

Silver Prochélnik, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Silver Prochelnik

Silver Cast Prochélnik, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Silver Prochélnik, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Silver wrought prochelnik forehead adornment from Sliven, Master glider, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Silver Cast Prochelnik Silver Prochelnik

Silver Over Ear Pendant, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Silver Over Ear Pendant

Fez, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Fez

Silver Tepelık, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Silver Hairpin, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Silver Hairpin Silver Tepelik

Trépka, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Trepka

Transition from village to urban lifestyle in Bulgaria at the end of XIX c. influenced significantly the development of jewellery craft. Jewels also changed with the distribution of Revival period urban costume. This exhibition shows both their chronological development and the Revival period Modern tendency towards combination of local traditions and foreign, Eastern and Western influences.

Coin Earrings, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Silver Podbradnik, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Silver Crescent Earrings, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Coin Earrings Silver Podbradnik Silver Crescent Earrings

Maskot with Kalemi, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Mascot with Kalemi

Silver Box Amulet, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Two Chained Silver Pectoral, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Silver Box Amulet Two-Chained Silver Pectoral

Silver Necklace with Enamel and Incrustations, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Cross-reliquary, cast silver, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Silver Necklace with Enamel and Incrustations Cast Silver Cross-Reliquary

Tight Silver Necklace, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Tight Silver Necklace

Each jewel has its own curious symbolic meaning. Location of jewels on the body is not accidental either. Small coins, beads and precious stones in head ornaments protect the wits. Gold coins and pectoral adornments protect the breath and the milk of young mothers. Buckles and belts protect childbearing and fertility.

Open work silver and copper Brooch, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Gilded silver brooch, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Wrought Silver Pectoral, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Open Work Silver Brooch Wrought Silver Pectoral

Zhar-Ptitsa Brooch, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Zhar-Ptica Brooch

Gilded silver brooch, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Gilded Silver Brooch

Compound silver bracelet, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Compound Silver Bracelet

Silver alloy bracelet, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Silver Alloy Bracelet

Hinge Silver Bracelet, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Hinge Silver Bracelet

Filigree gilded silver bracelet, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Gilded Silver Filigree Bracelet

Open Work Gilded Silver Bracelet, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Open Work Gilded Silver Bracelet

Sofia Compound Silver Bracelet, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Sofia Compound Silver Filigree Bracelet

Entishiya Bracelet, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Entishiya Bracelet

Gildened Silver Filigree Bracelet, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Gildened Silver Filigree Bracelet

Gildened Entishiya, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Gildened Entishiya

Horned silver and gold bracelet, Master glider, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Silver Alloy Rogatka Bracelet, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Rogatka Bracelet, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Horned Silver and Gold Bracelet Silver Alloy Rogatka Bracelet Rogatka (Horned) Bracelet

Silver Hinged Flower Barcelet, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Hinged Silver Bracelet, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Two arched knee-joint bracelet, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Silver Hinged Flower Bracelet Hinged Silver Bracelet Two-Arched Knee-Joint Bracelet

Filigree Silver Bracelet, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Filigree Silver Bracelet

Hinged bracelet, Master glider, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Hinged Silver Bracelet

Brass Ring, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Niello ring, Silver, XIX c., From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Peridot Silver Ring, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Brass Ring Niello Silver Ring Peridot Silver Ring

Gilded Silver "Stolovat" Ring, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Gilded Silver "Stolovat" Ring

Silver Ring with inscription “+Yurdan 1871”, From the collection of: Regional Ethnographic Museum-Plovdiv
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Silver Ring Inscribed "+Yurdan 1871"

Credits: Story

Chief Curator—Angel Yankov

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.
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