This antique Turkoman heykal or leather amulet pouch was likely worn by an older member of the Tekke tribe. It might have contained prayers, talismans, and small valuables.
The heykal or cheikel is a flat folded leather pouch decorated with partly-gilt silver on the front outside flap, and smaller silver plaques and studs on the leather neck strap. It is embellished with flat top and cabochon carnelian stones. The edge of the large plaque tested positive for sterling (the center cannot be tested without marring the surface) or perhaps 900 silver as did the studs (each stud was not tested only a sampling). The plaques on the leather strap did not test as silver.
The strap measures 41-1/2" long, the pouch is 5" wide x 4-1/2" high excluding the leather clasp x 3/4" thick including the plaque and stones.
The pouch can be referenced in "The Splendor of Ethnic Jewelry" by Ghysels Colett, Frances Borel and John Bigelow Taylor; Ornament Magazine Volume 22 Number 3, Spring 1999, "Turkoman Jewelry" by Kate Fitz Gibbon.
Condition: some tarnish to the metals, all stones and studs present and in good condition, a section of the strap has been sewn with cotton thread, I suspect that this is an old repair and not part of the initial construction, typical wear to the leather, the leather has lost its supple quality and has become stiff with age, the knot that would have clasped the pouch closed is missing, some verdigris in a couple of spots. The studs were polished with polishing cream when I bought the pouch which has left some off-white residue in the creases.
I will gladly calculate shipping costs for international buyers - just email me!
The pouch will be shipped in a wide box. For the safety of the leather strap, it will not be folded.
The last photo shows a grouping of the Bedouin items I have for sale in my shop.
Item ID: 4034