Pigeon Jewelry Gallery

Armenian beaded set. Originally imported by Chuck Zakarian. Spurling collection.

Armenian beaded set. Originally imported by Chuck Zakarian. Spurling collection.

Pakistanian. Beadwork on left (the three center pieces consist of beaded rings inlaid into grooved
barrels), aluminum rattles on right. Spurling collection.

  Bangle of unidentified origin. Antique.

  Pakistanian rattles in brass & aluminum. These are
roughly the size of a U.S. Nickel. Spurling collection.

Chuck Zakarian's Jewelry case & collection.


Two hangers worth of injected moulded barrels for everyday use in Chuck Zakarian's loft.

  Beaded Jewelry & Barrels. The barrels are
Turkish, the beaded jewelry from South Central Armenia. Zakarian collection.

Barrels, Bells & Rings. Zakarian collection.

  Beaded spool type barrels from Jordan.
(These are identical to some featured above from Pakistan). Zakarian collection.

  Beaded Jewelry & Barrels. This
photo depicts the order of how the jewelry is worn. Zakarian collection.

  Beaded barrels, brass bells & brass rings. Zakarian collection.

  Three types of bells: copper (top), silver (middle), brass
(bottom). Zakarian collection.

Yes, these are "just bands", of a Norse origin, originally sent to me by Johnny Ajluni of California. 4 are the typical rolled aluminum type as used here in the USA. The black band stamped "NRS" is an English style ring of a hard, polished plastic alloy
with stamped lettering. These English style rings are now often seen on Birminghams bred here in the USA as several Roller clubs now purchase their club bands in Britain. The "white" band (it is actually a very pale yellow) is interesting. It is of a plastic seamless construction, apparently of
celloid type plastic as used in snap style plastic colored bands. The band # is actually printed on the band (it is definitely not permanent! as it already shows signs of wearing off), which makes it very unusual for a seamless style band.

Pigeon Jewelry
By Chuck Zakarian

Jewelry for pigeons is quite popular in most regions of the middle east. The one country that seems to be the exception is Egypt, where the fanciers do not like or use it. In Turkey for example, they still make barrels on
small lathes and the beaded jewelry is still handmade by some fanciers. But the trend these days are production made barrels and beaded jewelry. The production made plastic barrels show seam marks from the injection molding
process. The production beaded jewelry is nice but not as ornate as the hand made pieces. With the hand made, beaded jewelry I have never seen two identical sets. This is just the opposite of production made beaded jewelry
where there is little variation. The materials for barrels has been varied. In the old days it was common to see barrels made of terra cotta, bone, or brass. In Levi's "The Pigeon" there is a photo of a Dewlap wearing as Levi
states "clay barrels" which is also known as terra cotta. I have had the clay barrels and wish they still could be found so I could add them to my collection. The brass barrels are hollow and have bird shot in them and
rattle when the birds walk.

The one bone or ivory barrel I have, was given to me by Roger Hanson and has stars carved in it. The few I have had before, were hand carved from lamb shank bone were brought from Armenia in the 1960's. The most modern
materials used in the manufacture of barrels is plastic. There are two types being used. First is the soft injection molding type of plastic used in the manufacture of everyday household products. The second type of
plastic type material being used is almost as hard as plastic used in the manufacturing of Bowling Balls. This is the material used to manufacture the hand turned barrels. It is my suspect that this is the same material
used in the bowling balls because of seeing barrels with metal flake and swirls of colors. The newest type of barrels I have added to my collection are spool shape with the beads wired in the center. The spool is injection
molded showing seams.

Finally, about the bells, I have seen 3 types of manufacture. The most common are made of stamped sheet copper, brass or silver. They are about the size of a marble are light in weight and quite loud. They have a plain wire ring soldered on them for slipping on the pigeons foot. The second type of bells are about the size of a large pea.
They are of brass or silver and are very high pitched in their sound. They are attached to a bearded ring for slipping on the pigeons leg. The final bells are of cast brass, about the size of a marble and weigh around 4
grams each. That is quite heavy for bells. It is my assumption these bells are manufactured in India for another use besides pigeon jewelry. India is noted for their extensive brass works.

Finally we come to the necklaces for pigeons. There are only two types to my knowledge. The most common type opens its ring and pierces thru the skin of the neck. I own these type but for the sake of humanity, will not use
them. I would be afraid that they would catch on something in the loft and the pigeon would be permanently disfigured if it were to survive such a trauma. Then there is the type of necklace that goes over the head and onto
the neck. It is then gently pulled upward to slip it under the neck feathers locking it in place upon the pigeons neck. This type was sent to me from Mr. K. Spurling (Spurling's note: the necklace Chuck just reffered to is of a Czech-Bohemian origin and is made by a single young Swing Pouter flier. This type of jewelry is not native to the area and was influenced by Middle Eastern jewelry) and I also received one of these from South Central Armenia.

As a final note, in the middle east it is tradition that only cock birds are dressed in jewelry. Only the best of the young cocks are given barrels and rings. The following year if they do produce in the breeding loft, they
are given the beaded jewelry. From that point on in their lives their wings will be usually clipped so that they are confined to the roof top with limited freedom. The jewelry on the cock birds signifies its stature in the
fanciers loft.

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