A silver-mounted kamar belt




Central Asia, Bukhara


Late 19th or early 20th century


Forging, chasing, engraving, piercing, gilding, niello


Silver, leather, silk


Length 965 mm; buckle 84x180 mm

The wide leather strip is covered on the obverse side with silk fabric with a multi-colored geometric pattern. The partially gilded silver set consists of a massive three-section buckle, ten figured plaques and a small convex circle that are decorated with stylized floral motifs using the niello technique. The oval central section of the buckle is gilded with an arabesque ornament (eslimi) against a nielloed background. Both side sections of the buckle are framed with openwork scrolls.

COMMENT. Kamar is a traditional Uzbek men’s belt made of leather, velvet, silk or cotton fabric. Silk and cotton belts are usually decorated with intricate embroidery, while leather belts are covered with embroidered fabric. The belt mounts including a massive buckle are usually made of silver. The most expensive belts have silver, rarely gold mounts that are inlaid with precious or semiprecious stones. Kamar has always been not only an important part of the Uzbek national costume, but also a symbol of manhood and an indicator of the owner’s social status.