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Silverwork in the Modern Period

Ecclesiastical silver

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Gilded silver 'tepelikia', ornaments worn on the red fez of the woman's headdress, 19th cent., Kozani, Folklore Museum.

Earrings and 'kioustekia'
Silver earrings and 'kioustekia' (pectoral ornaments) from Petrousa Drama, 19th cent., Kalamata, Collection of the Lyceum of Greek Women.

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Earrings and 'kioustekia'

The art of jewellery-making benefited from the relative prosperity of the Greeks of Macedonia and there was increased production in the 18th and 19th centuries. There is an impressive variety of jewellery, which was an indispensable accessory, particularly for women's dress, the quality varying with the economic circumstances of the family.

The climate of insecurity prevailing in the period of Turkish domination made jewellery an easy way of storing and transporting wealth. Coins, such as the famous 'constandinata', and even foreign coins, were frequently suspended on gold chains, and these later acquired a purely decorative character.

Jewellery in this period includes 'kioustekia' (pectoral ornaments consisting of chains, worn by both men and women), 'yiordania' (necklaces of all kinds), 'haimalia' (amulets), earrings, pins and so on. The 'tepeliki' was a head decoration worn by women, consisting of a small disc of gilded silver worn on top of the red fez, while the sash (a belt of silver), a basic item in the Greek costume, had a symbolical character and a great variety of forms.

See Also
History - Foreign trade (1430-1821)
Civilization - Jewellery in Antiquity
Minor arts (867-1204)

Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.