- Museum number
Woman's coin-chain belt ('nizalka'), copper alloy, hung with Turkish silver-plated copper alloy coins and stamped gilded leaf-shaped amulets. Cast hooks at each end and in centre, bearing the double-headed eagle of the old Serbian coat of arms. The copper alloy used for the leaf-shaped drops and eagle hooks contains some silver and a small amount of arsenic as a whitener.
- Production date
Height: 14 centimetres (at centre)
Length: 94 centimetres
Width: 3.60 centimetres (of centre hook)
- Curator's comments
- Text from Eth Doc 1892, no. 86m: A coin chain, a 'nizalka'. Silversmiths work, from a town. A silver chain with a central and two outer securing hooks mounted on cast pieces bearing the old Serbian royal coat of arms has suspended amulets and old Turkish silver coins. This is positioned below the ‘pafta’ [Eu1997,04.139 - 151], across the apron, and would be part of the bride’s dowry. The Mijaks are a matriarchal society of Albanian origin.
Religion; Macedonian Orthodox.
For other parts of this attire see: 139: jacket; 140: shirt / chemise; 141a + b: bridal sleeves; 142: waistcoat; 143: coat; 144: upper sash; 145: bridal apron; 146: headscarf; 147: scarf; 148: socks; 149: silver buckle; 150: head decoration.
Information supplementary to Eth Doc:
The coins are all from the reign of Mahmud II (1808-39), minted in Constantinople in 1808 and bear the Islamic date 1223 (1808). For a detailed description of the giving of such chains to the bride and how they were worn as part of the Galićnik wedding ceremony and costume, see Eu1997, 04.131. The coins jangled as the wearer moved, warding off evil spirits. the hooks bear then widespfrwead double-headed eagle used across Europe and the Ottoman Empire.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2011 21 Jan-11 Sep, London, British Museum, Room 2, Traditional Jewellery and Dress from the Balkans
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Obtained for the donor in the 1960s by Živko Firfov of the Folklore Institute in Skopje.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number