- Museum number
Talismanic goat's skull covered in cotton with cotton embroidery in pink and black floral designs, with pink, orange, brown and cream plaited yarn wrapped around the horns. Stylised eyes of the animal have also been embroidered. Seven wool tassels with beads made of seed hang from the jaw. The back of the skull is appliquéd with a densely embroidered older textile in three triangle shapes.
- Production date
Height: 31 centimetres (incl. tassels)
Weight: 1.06 kilograms
Width: 48 centimetres (horn to horn)
- Curator's comments
"Goats' heads also protect the yurts of Central Asia, those belonging to the Yomut Turkmen often covered with embroidered fabric." Sheila Paine's notes, Dreweatts sale catalogue. See also, Sheila Paine, 'Amulets: A World of Secret Powers, Charms and Magic' (London, 2004), pp. 65, 110-113. This object is illustrated on p.113.
Talismanic goat’s skull
This protective goat’s skull is covered with embroidered and appliquéd cloth and would have hung at the entrance of a Yomut Turkmen yurt or house. The belief in the amuletic significance of horns and antlers dates back thousands of years and their appearance on buildings has spread across the globe. Horned animals denote wealth, social status and the hunter’s skill and the sharp point of the horn is also capable of piercing a passing evil eye.
ex-Sheila Paine collection
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Middle East
- Registration number