- Museum number
A woman's waistcoat, a 'jelek'. A small, sleeveless garment with dense couched embroidery and applied braiding on a black satin silk cloth ground. The back has three large circular motifs, worked in gold-coloured metal-wrapped thread, couched green and mauve silk (?) threads, and recessed pink and white sequins. Four smaller circular motifs on the back, and two on the front, are worked in the same materials. Wide mauve commercial wool braiding is applied to all seams and edges. On either side of the front opening are eight large pale mauve decorative bobbles, covered in plaited cotton thread. The neckline has a small cream-coloured crochet collar. The waistcoat has a pink and cream printed cotton lining, and is padded with paper (?).
- Production date
- 1875-1925 (source: Ken Ward)
Length: 34 centimetres
Width: 33 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The cut and decoration of this waistcoat shows heavy Turkish influence; such a garment would have been worn by an ethnic Albanian, a Muslim [Ken Ward 21 04 2008]. For a similar waistcoat, seee Eu 2005,0713.1.
For information about women's jeleks see: Start, Laura E, 'The Durham Collection of Garments and Embroideries from Albania and Yugoslavia', 1977: 50 - 54 (Chapter XIII).
The Balkan traveller, Edith Durham, was struck by the quality of the gold thread embroidery, writing, 'The gold embroidery is not to be surpassed anywhere, the tailors' shops are a blaze of gorgeous colours and designs. Had it not been for the difficulties of transport, I should have ruined myself.' [from Edith Durham 1909 / 1985, High Albania: 272].
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Bought by the donor in Peć market in 1960.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number