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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Authentic Spiked Metal Turkish Dog Collars and New Website!

Above: Mid 90s, Aslan, my Anatolian Shepherd Dog modeling a metal Turkish spike collar from the region of Konya. Below Aslan models a collar of the Kayseri type. I collected a few more collars with Andrea's help, but the two shown here came to me years before, from other sources

Since the end of Y2K, Andrea Jacobs has provided us with a reliable and trustworthy source of hard-to-get items such as authentic metal Turkish spike collars.
Not only did she travel to Turkey to obtain them, sometimes during potentially risky times (considering the region) -- sometimes she had to endure delays and other issues in order to get her finds back to the USA. Some of the collars, especially the ones made of iron were very heavy and had the potential of being able to eat the packages that held them!

The news is that she now has a beautiful website on its own domain! Go check it out!


Andrea traveled to different areas around Turkey and was able to provide a variety in collar styles in many of their diverse regional flavors over the years. Her new finds were usually fresh styles which differed from previous stock, which means some of us who collected collars were often impressed with her finds. Some collars came from Cappadocia, others came from Aksaray or Kayseri and more came from other regions.

A little background on these collars. Traditionally, it's said that the herd guardian had to earn the collar, by virtue of evidence found by the shepherd, that the guardian had killed a predator. The collar would then be placed around the dog's neck to protect it in the case of a serious fight.

The Aksaray style collar on the door knob is one of Andrea's collars.

That's the story anyway, but it isn't necessarily true that the dog necessarily killed a predator. Some dogs are given the collars to help protect the dog from the outset. Some poor shepherds with few goats and sheep, might have only one or two dogs. Maybe he didn't have a dog for a while, and had just gotten one. Can hardly afford to lose the dog now! The loss of a single one of them could mean loss of future potential of the herd.

In the past, herds could be huge! Multiples of dogs ran with the herds. Some shepherds have said as many as a dozen or more dogs would be with the herds that had hundreds of hoofstock. It would then be more likely that a special favorite or a proven one would have the collar if the shepherd had the means to fashion or procure one. The collar on such a dog was a status symbol of its worth. Very poor shepherds sometimes used wooden spikes pushed through layers of leather to make these collars. I don't have a photo of such a collar but that's just some collar lore for ya. :)

Andrea wasn't only about collars, she also presented us with a selection of unique Anatolian, Turkish and Persian items. Some in leather or kilim and other media. She sometimes shared her finds in carpets, runners, and pillows. Some were small gift items, holiday surprises and while other things could be rich with some aspect of cultural value.

Occasionally she had items with nazar boncuğu (nazarlık) on them, either as a symbol as part of the object's design or as beads stitched to the item. Usually referred to as the Evil Eye, the "nazar bonchu" commonly refers to the charm, amulet, or talisman that wards off the effect of bad luck or the bad "evil eye" (or curses/evil intent) by staring it down with the watchful big eye.


This Evil Eye good luck charm symbol in Turkey is quite ubiquitous and often a beautiful cobalt blue. I have a few pieces of glass like the ones on the left. They have small holes at the top, and can be made into jewelry. The problem with jewelry is that I often promptly lose it, so the eighteen year old pieces, I have are tucked away in a box til I figure out what to do with them. :D

As you can see in the round glass pieces and in the triangular felt piece above, it is a simple, stylized, wide open eye symbol. Sometimes this is painted on buildings, put on vehicles, made into wall hangings, or fastened as charms onto children's clothing. The stylized eye stares down bad luck and makes it go away. Keychains are pretty cool, as some of them have multiples of beads with the eye on them. The evil eye looks out for you at all angles! It's not a religious symbol nor highly superstitious these days, but more of an automatic and comfortable presence. Many of us have a horse shoe or four leaf clover around somewhere and when we think of it, we think symbolically of two words: good luck. It's about the same caliber. :)


Related links:
Old website for Andrea - Taking My Time

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 9/04/2007 06:44:00 PM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Anonymous jan sent us a woof // September 05, 2007

The spiked collars are awesome. The probably don't come in tiny sizes though.

Didn't think so.   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // September 06, 2007

Not in Turkey anyway.

The things are not fun to have around on a pet dog. Too easy to get scratched and stabbed when the dog comes up for some hugs!

I have seen toy breed collars that feature "pit bull" style, studded miniature chrome spikes! :)   

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