Buckle made of gold, gemstones and enamel

The buckle’s central section is in the shape of a pomegranate. It is decorated with a six-petalled flower in enamel with one semi-precious stone (a garnet) in the centre and another eight surrounding the leaves in a double row. The frame has a peak that culminates in a crown on whose sides the points by which the buckle was connected to the rest of the belt remain. Both the floral decoration and the garnet are associated with the Ottoman art of the period, making the buckle an excellent example of the art produced by the Constantinopolitan goldsmiths of the 17th and 18th centuries. Belts were a basic element of neohellenic costume, and particular care was lavished on buckles. The shape of the pomegranate was probably associated with fertility. Since belts of this sort were worn by women, these buckles took on a symbolic and magical character.

Brouskari M. 2007. Catalogue no. 234, in Skampavias K.—Chatzidakis N. (eds), Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos Museum. Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Art, Athens, 457.