Balchik, Bulgaria: Ruslan Yordanov, the Bulgarian traveller, shares a glimpse of his visit to Balchik Palace; Balchik Palace presents to its visitors the exhibition “Panagyur Goldsmithing – Tradition and Development”, which reveals some of the most exquisite products made by the master hands of Panagyur goldsmiths.
He explained that tourists can see various pouches made of gold, silver or mother-in-law, rings, bracelets, belts, earrings, brooches, and diadems richly decorated with ornaments and multi-coloured stones.
Among the exhibits is a reader – placed on the head on a towel, and a moth – a round ornate tile made of gold, silver or pearl, used for decoration on hats or towels. Panagyur jewellers took an active part in the preparation of the April Uprising in 1876. They make cockards rebel cubs for the rebel uniforms.
The techniques of work practised by Panagyur master jewellers are forging, casting, granulation, and enamel, but they are best known for their “deer work” – filigree.
For this method of work, thin threads of metal – silver or gold are required to be pulled to be turned into elegant motifs. The products of this technique are unique in its kind and can hardly be replicated. This is where the master of the jeweller is visible.
The most widely common items of jewellery are head and body jewellery. Since ancient times, there has been a belief that the head is connected to the spiritual realm, and that is why it is one of the most vulnerable parts of the body to evil forces and unclean influences.
Head Jewellery is tassels, earrings, hair pins, pendants, braids, bookcases, headbands. Hanged on a towel, in addition to decorating, they have the function of a shield to repel evil thoughts and “bad looks” that can endanger the health and well-being of the woman wearing them.
The jewellery is an integral part of the traditional clothing of the Bulgarian woman. When she went out on the street in the 18th and 19th centuries, she was inundated with all the metal jewellery her husband bought. She walked proudly upright, with a slow gait and with moderate movements, with which the jewellery rang and attracted the eye.
The exhibition will be in the Stone Hall of the State Cultural Institute – Palace Cultural Center until October 31, 2023.