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jewelry glossary

Antique jewelry glossary

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Nose ornament

An ornament worn on the nose by both men and women, mainly in India and in America in the pre-Columbian period. The examples of Mughal jewelry were either jewelled studs worn on one side of the nostril, or large, ornate gold pieces, with pendants and dangling chains, worn suspended through the septum.

Those of pre-Columbian jewelry were made of gold or Tumbaga, including:

  • a ring suspended through the septum
  • a pin in the form a straight bar worn horizontally through the septum (but sometimes made of jade as articles of Mayan jewelry)
  • a thick, solid or tubular, penannular ring, sometimes with a lower projecting ornament
  • a long, angled strip extending almost horizontally on either side of the nose, with various ornamental motifs (sometimes a monkey figure) attached
  • an openwork semi-circular disc with small arms at the top for attaching to the septum; or an elaborate ornament of hammered sheet metal of considerable size, made in an openwork pattern, sometimes with dangling discs, cylinders or pendants or in the form of a cut-out anthropomorphic face with the features in repoussé work

From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson

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