Necklace (Ogadero)

Necklace (ogadero)
Izmir, Turkey
Late 19th century
Stamped and hammered gold
L: 40; W: 4.7 cm
Purchased through the gift of Yossi Benyaminoff, New York
Accession number: B01.0848

Photo, IMJ, by Oded Loebl

The ogadero necklace was the main piece in traditional set of jewels given to Jewish brides in the Ottoman Empire, mainly in the communities of Izmir, Rhodes, and Jerusalem, and earlier also in Thessaloniki. The Ladino word ogadero means "choker," referring to the way the necklace was worn. Made of seven chains joined by hammered plates and a hinged fastening, the ogadero closes in the front. It resembles the mania de ├žaton bracelets that were usually worn with it. The necklace was given to a bride by her husband or father, providing that he could afford to purchase such a costly piece of jewelry. Elderly women kept the necklace as security in order to purchase a burial plot. The ogadero was considered an exclusively Jewish adornment, and it appears in various pictorial representations of Jewish women. The Israel Museum's ogadero is one of a very few intact examples.

Publications:
Ben Ami, Alia, ed., In All their Finery: Jewels from the Jewish World, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2002
The Jewish World 365 Days, from the Collections of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, U.S.A., 2004
Zalmona, Yigal, ed., The Israel Museum at 40: Masterworks of Beauty and Sanctity, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2005
The Israel Museum, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2005