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Pair of Earrings

Asian Art

On View: Great Hall, South, 1st floor
These ornaments were not worn in the ear itself, but appended to a Tibetan woman’s headdress near the ears to frame the face. They served to demonstrate her personal wealth and social status. The most highly prized, sky-blue turquoise originated from mines near Nishapur in Khorosan, Iran, and was traded to Tibet via India; darker colored turquoise came from both Tibet and China. The color turquoise was important to Tibetans as a reference to the sky and lakes, while the mineral turquoise was thought to have powers that added to its appeal as a material for personal adornment. According to the Blue Beryl, an important Tibetan medical treatise written by Sangye Gyatso (1653–1705), turquoise had healing properties: an antidote for poison and a cure for diseases, including liver ailments.
MEDIUM Silver inlaid with turquoise
  • Place Made: Tibet
  • DATES 17th or 18th century
    DIMENSIONS 1 1/2 × 1 × 4 in. (3.8 × 2.5 × 10.2 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Asian Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Great Hall, South, 1st floor
    EXHIBITIONS
    ACCESSION NUMBER 86.227.43a-b
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Pair of Earrings, 17th or 18th century. Silver inlaid with turquoise, 1 1/2 × 1 × 4 in. (3.8 × 2.5 × 10.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc., 86.227.43a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.86.227.43a-b.jpg)
    IMAGE group, storage inventory project, CUR.86.227.43a-b.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
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