National History Museum

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Adornments Collection

The Adornments Collection contains over nine thousand monuments of cultural heritage from the 18th century to the present. The first items entered the museum in 1975, these were adornments purchased from the population via the Zlatarska Promishlenost State Company. A commission was founded at the Committee for Culture which inspected and selected mediaeval adornments and coins, and later bought them by kilogramme from Zlatarska Promishlenost. They were given to the newly established National Museum of History in 1975. Thus, a great number of adornments and other metal objects, predominantly silver ones, were saved from melting. Unfortunately, the museum has not records to whom they belonged and from where they originate. Over the years the collection is being selectively completed. At present the National Museum of History preserves exquisite works of goldsmith’s from Northwestern Bulgaria, Teteven, Samokov and other places.
More than two - thirds of the collection is traditional adornments worn by the Bulgarian women in the 18th, 19th till the beginning of the 20th century. These are head adornments – tepelatsi (round, decorative plates, sewn on small bonnets), hair – pins (also used the kerchief to be fastened to the head), head ornaments, chin – pieces, ear – muffs (adornments, which were similar to the earrings and worn attached over the ears by means of a textile ribbon), earrings and adornments for the body and hands decoration such as necklaces, belts, belt claps, the so – called pafti (metal claps of belts), bracelets and rings.
Jewellery, as a supplement to the town dress, is in smaller quantity. This is explicable because they could be worn even nowadays and it is difficult for people to part with them. Nevertheless the National Museum of History owns a collection of brooches and pins with monograms of the rulers of the Third Bulgarian Kingdom and of the members of their families that were presented to eminent political figures and their entourage.