Dvoichatki - earrings. Russians. 17th -18th century

Dvoichatki - earrings. Russians. 17th -18th century

Earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings were indispensable attributes of traditional woman costume in North Russia. Jewelers worked both precious and colored metals and their alloys and alongside precious stones they used cheaper materials such as sweet water pearl, amber, nacre, bone, glass, clay and their surrogates. In traditional culture ornaments had not only aesthetic function but also symbolical meaning, functioning as markers of one’s age, marital status and social position.  The maximal number and diversity was typical for costumes of maidens and young women. Amber and metal jewelry was believed to possess particular magic power. These ornaments were put on by bride as amulets at her wedding and used in divination practices. The recently married women didn’t take them off even during field works.  The number of ornaments decreased as woman was ageing, and they almost completely disappeared in old age.

The most widespread woman jewelry was earrings. Among the ethnographic museum collection of 10,000 traditional ornaments there are several examples of exquisitely made earrings donated by the Tsar Nicolas II in various years. The earliest forms of them are so called odintsi, dvoichatki and troichatki. The massive earrings golubtsi are linked with the culture of Novgorod in XVI-XVIII century. Protruding relief images on the both sides of such earrings are covered with filigree ornament, colored enamel, and inlays of colored glass and stones. In the XIX century earrings became more diverse, they deviate from traditional canon being designed in shape of rosettes, bows, and bunches of grapes.