Tag Archives: arabian jewellery

Top Treasures of the Topkapi Palace

The Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey is known for its enchanting architecture, the exquisite carvings and murals that decorate the palace walls, the lavish lifestyle of its inhabitants, and of course the riches of jewels and gold hidden away in its treasury.

The palace was an important part of Ottoman history, a hub of literature, music, art, and Ottoman culture during the height of the empire. As a hub of the arts, jewelry making was especially important. Not only was the intricate jewelry beautiful, but it also was a show of an individual’s wealth and power. Worn by men and woman alike, jewelry making was, and still is an integral part of Islamic culture today. Considered one of the higher forms of art, jewelers not only made artisan jewelry but decorated everything from utensils and boxes, to clothes and weapons. And where better to find the finest assortment of treasures then from the royal treasury of the fabled Topkapi Palace.

It wasn’t until Sultan Abdülmecid(1839–61) that the treasury became open to public view, and with it, a higher appreciation for the craftsmanship of some of histories greatest artisans. Two pieces in particular stand out for their extravagance and workmanship. The first being the Spoonmaker’s Diamond.

One of the largest diamonds in the world, weighing in at 86 carats,  this pear-shaped diamond  is the Treasury’s most valuable single exhibit. It is considered the fourth largest diamond of its kind in the world.  A teardrop pendant to be strung on a necklace, it has been inspirational for Ottoman and Turkish jewelry. But despite being so well liked for its vibrancy and rarity, its history remains a mystery. Little is known about this jewels past but it certainly has the stories to match its sparkly façade, most commonly pertaining to its namesake.

As the story goes, a poor man found the gem in a pile of garbage. The poor man, not knowing what it was, is said to have then traded it away for a mere three wooden spoons. Keep in mind that this is one of the world’s largest diamonds. It was at least worth the bribes, ships and soldiers Napoleon’s Mother is rumors to have pawned it away for when trying to save her son from exile. We may never know the true history of this sparkly jewel, but this celebrated treasure will continue to awe and inspire many to come.

The second treasure, the Emerald Dagger, is a 17th century masterpiece made at the height of the Islamic jewelry making tradition.

Decorated weapons, typically worn by men, were an especially popular display of wealth. These weapons, much like the jewelry, were ornate and colorful. With enamel flower motifs, and inlayed jewels or Arabic calligraphy, they were a staple form of traditional Islamic or Arabic art. The Ayat al Kursi or verses of the throne were often inscribed on garments, weapons  and jewelry as a form of protection.

The dagger had not been meant to stay in Topkapi Palace. It was crafted as a gift to the imposing Iranian ruler Nadir Shah, a man who today is thought of as one of Persia’s greatest leaders. However the embassy had only just crossed the boarder when news of the ruler’s assassination reached them. With heavy hearts they returned home and the dagger remained in Istanbul. The dagger later regained its fame when shown in “The Light of Day” a popular Hollywood heist film released in 1964. Since then it has remained one of the most celebrated treasures of Istanbul.

These two treasures are relics of the past, but their artistic heritage inspires us even today. Much of what makes these masterpieces so beautiful lives on in current Islamic, Arabic, and Muslim jewelry making traditions. From the aesthetic, to the subject, to the intricacy born from a rich history for the appreciation of the arts.

Worn by men and woman alike, historical motifs, enameled flowers, and decorative calligraphy from the Quran are highlights of Middle Eastern and Arabic jewelry today, as much as they were in the past.

Even though most of us cannot afford a museum quality diamond, we can still enjoy inspired Islamic jewelry designs at Artizara, celebrating the tradition and history of Islamic, Arabic and Muslim jewelry.

 

ISLAMIC WOMEN SHINE IN ARABIC JEWELRY

Every modest clothing wardrobe needs a little sparkle—that’s why Artizara, your Muslim women’s online shop, offers unique Arabic jewelry including priceless Allah necklaces at a discount.

Arabic Jewelry for your wrist, ears and fingers!

Following centuries old jewelry making traditions, Artizara’s line of Arabic jewelry is individually handmade by Turkish artisans. Since no two pieces are exactly alike, expect to see slight differences in engraving, marks and even imperfections which are the hallmarks of these unique pieces.

Silver-plated Hand made Geometric Cuff Bracelet - Artisan JewelryMake a statement with this bold geometric cuff bracelet handcrafted in silver-plating over bronze, with a hand-hammered finish. Its easy slip-on stylingcan be stretched to fit wider wrists.

Turkish Drop Earrings - Artisan JewelryThese lovely handmade Turkish drop earrings are inlaid with a large semi-precious ruby red faceted garnet accented by carnelian and garnet florets. The set is gold-plated over bronze and is made for pierced ears. Although created in the Ottoman style following centuries’ old jewelry making traditions, the pair is designed for modern sensibilities including a light weight for comfort.

Modern Sterling Silver non tarnish Engraved Bismillah RingSearching for a unique emblem of faith and a wonderful gift for both sexes? Then look to this modern sterling silver non-tarnish engraved Bismillah ring. Simple, versatile and sturdy, the ring is ideal for everyday wear with its polished sterling silver rhodium plated for a non-tarnish finish. Best of all, the back is open so it can be pulled apart for adjustable sizing. The contemporary design is engraved by artisans with the message, “Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem” (“In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful”) which makes it the perfect wedding band or the ideal item to mark other blessed beginnings.

Give or grace yourself with Allah necklaces!

While Allah is the Arabic word Muslims use to refer to God in Islam, it’s also been used by Arab Christians since pre-Islamic times. In Islam, the name Allah is the supreme and all-comprehensive divine name, and all other divine names are believed to refer back to Allah, the Omnipotent, the Creator of the Universe. Wearing or gifting necklaces reflecting this meaning is a wonderful way to honor Allah, especially since the following pieces in Artizara’s line are beautifully presented in a black custom gift box.

Gold-Plated Sterling Silver Diamond Look Allah NecklaceThis gold-plated sterling silver Allah necklace features fluid, modern calligraphy and sparkling cubic zirconia. The dainty piece also includes a 20-inch sterling silver ball chain for a delicate look.

The Pave Diamond-Look Allah Necklace - Islamic JewelryDesigned with the look of fine diamond jewelry, this sterling silver necklace features the word Allahin fluid, modern calligraphy. It is set with sparkling cubic zirconia in a pave setting and rhodium plated for a non-tarnish finish. Last but not least, it includes an adjustable 18-20 inch sterling silver chain with spring clasp.

Modern Sterling Silver Allah Islamic NecklaceThose who adore modern accessories will appreciate this medium-sized Allah necklace which boasts a sterling silver stamp at the back. Evocative of civilizations past, reinterpreted in a fresh contemporary way, all of these pieces are head turners!