A silver-mounted kamar belt




Central Asia, Bukhara


Late 19th or early 20th century


Forging, chasing, piercing, gilding, enameling, sewing


Silver, enamel, leather, silk, galloon


Length 915 mm; buckle 86x165 mm

The wide leather strip is decorated with red velvet and gold galloon on the obverse side, and it is covered with faded silk fabric on the backside. The silver-gilt set consists of a massive three-section buckle and seven large rosette-shaped plaques that are pierced with arabesque motifs (eslimi) and framed by stylized leaves with ribbed edges. The oval-shaped central section of the buckle is gilded with an arabesque ornament against a dark blue and dark green enameled background.

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 often 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.