Armenian treasures of the Worcester Art Museum
The Worcester Art Museum, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S., and established in 1896, houses over 38,000 works of art dating from antiquity to the present day and representing cultures from all over the world. Among those are 21 samples of the Armenian decorative arts: traditional costume details, headdresses, silver dinnerware, tablecloth, and jewelry pieces, such as necklaces, pendants, anklets, bracelets, head ornaments, and toe-rings. The oldest exhibits among the mentioned samples are the elements of traditional garments (images unavailable) and an anklet dated back to the 1700s. Most accessories represent century-old designs and patterns with the specific symbolism and techniques typical for the Armenian applied arts. One of the displayed pendants is embellished with coral, jade, turquoise, and agate, and one of the exhibited exquisite necklaces is mounted with red and green stones and strung on braided silk.
The whole set of Armenian artifacts was donated to the museum by Laura Norcross Marrs (1845-1926), whose husband, Kingsmill Marrs (d. 1912), was an avid traveler and collector of Egyptian artifacts and their collection is remarkable for both its breadth and quality. It’s yet to be discovered whether the spouses acquired the Armenian silverware pieces in Egypt, America, or Turkey.