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The word pafta is of Turkish origin and is used in almost identical forms in Romanian, Greek, Bulgarian, and Serbian languages and some Aromanian dialects, denoting clothing accessories of a functional and decorative use, which secure or catch one's girdle, sash or belt.
Such buckles are accessories of ceremonial and everyday costumes, they were worn by both prince's courtiers and commoners in the Romanian principalities during the reign of the Phanariots, when the influence of Greek culture increased.

Throughout the Balkan Peninsula, silversmiths' workshops produced buckles very different in size, alloys, technique, style, and decoration. Turkish buckles were usually lace-like, often gilded, with many stones, emphasizing opulence. At the Bulgarians and Aromanians, they are simpler, but have a specific model and symbolism. Greek buckles are mostly silver, elegantly shaped, decorated with corals and small coins. The difference between the West and the East in this regard lies in the ability of the Turks to combine other materials with precious stones. Another feature is the predominance of floral motifs over the representations of animals and birds. The peoples under Ottoman rule assimilated these features and integrated them into their own cultures.

The buckles exhibited testify to the presence of a jewelry workshop in the town of Orhei in Bessarabia in the second half of the 19th century, and the quality of workmanship, the fine processing of the details, the complex composition denote the mastery and skill of the craftsmen.

Similar in style, these three buckles are two-piece, germinating seed-shaped, with strongly pronounced tips. The border is decorated with a garland motif, which circumscribes floral decorative elements. Hook and loop fastening is covered with a decorative button. On the reverse side, both sides are equipped with two plus two vertical straps with which the belt was attached.

The buckles are made of silver, as evidenced by the metal fineness hallmark stamp "84", applied according to the regulations on both parts of the buckle, and the hallmark stamp of the jewelry workshop in Orhei - the symbol of oak in a stylized shield. The quality of the metal and workmanship is also certified by the stamp of the assayer, moreover, one of the buckles was expertized by Dmitry Tiunov and has a "ДТ" (DT) stamp on it. On both parts of the buckle, the year of manufacture 1858 and the stamp of the assayer "ПН" (PN) are stamped. The stamp on the second buckle, the initials "МИ" (MI), indicates only the craftsman who made the product. The third buckle, made in the Orhei workshop, does not have the hallmark stamps required by law on the back side, but retains the same hallmarks stamped on the side of the products: the symbol of oak, the metal fineness hallmark stamp "84", the year of manufacture - 1871, and the initials of the assayer "КС" (KS), identified as Klim Sergeev, who worked from 1868 to 1871.

Between the 1840s and 1870s, wearing buckles became obsolete, and women's fashion completely adopted Western cuts and colors. These accessories came back into fashion around 1870 thanks to Princess Elisabeth, the future Queen of Romania. She introduced at court the fashion for the Romanian national costume, decorated with buckles. Her example was followed by the female elite of that time until the eve of the First World War. And her successor, Queen Maria, with her usual elegance and refinement, continued this fashionable tradition with in the interwar period.

Virtual Tour


Exhibitions

The compartment „Bessarabia in the 19th Century”

(Permanent Exhibition “History and Civilization”)

This compartment of exhibition reflects the history of Bessarabia in the modern time. As a result of the Russo-Turkish War of 1806-1812 (that were fought in the area of Romanian Principalities of Moldova and Wallachia and ended with the conclusion of the Treaty of Bucharest of 16 / 28 May 1812) the Russian Empire annexed the eastern part of the Principality of Moldova (the territory between the Prut and Dniester) and incorrectly extended the name of Bessarabia to all the lands between the Danube and Hotin (the Turkish rayahs of Hotin, Bender, and Ismail were also annexed). The exhibition also aims to reflect the main events which determined the evolution of Bessarabia for 106 years of foreign domination.

The compartment „Bessarabia in the 19th Century”

Administration. One of the main instruments of the imperial policy of integration, standardization, and / or Russification was the provincial administration, a phenomenon illustrated by the Statute of 1828 or "The Concise Code of Laws" by Andronache Donici (1850). The second half of the 19th century - the era of "great reforms" - have led to the establishment of "zemstvo" in Bessarabia (1869) - a body of local self-administration, focused primarily on the issues related to the daily needs of the population: taxes, welfare, education, medicine, agriculture. In this sense, it should be noted the construction of the impressive buildings of the hospital in Costiujeni and the Zemstvo Museum.

Chisinau is presented in the exhibition as a place of residence of the tsarist military administration, and then as the administrative center of the region (since 1818). Russification has influenced even the architectural look of the town. The intense process of urbanization can be traced through the exhibits: the architectural project of a house from Chisinau, town views of the times: Shumsky's House, Swiss Hotel, as well as the images of outstanding persons: Carol Schmidt, a mayor of Chisinau (1877-1903) and the city's chief architect Alexander Bernardazzi, both of which contributed greatly to the modernization of the city.

Economy.
The main features of Bessarabian economy in the period between 1812 and 1918 are presented by items related to agricultural and industrial work. They confirm the almost exclusively agrarian character of the economy of the province, which to some extent also contributed to the process of Russification of the population.

Cultural and scientific life of the province is marked by the appearance of local press. It is official press written almost entirely in Russian. However, there are some publications in Romanian: "Buletinul Eparhiei Chișinăului" („Bulletin of the Eparchy of Chisinau") (1868) "Luminatorul" ("Luminary") (1913), "Cuvant Moldovenesc" ("Moldavian Word") (1915). Other original exhibits reflect the formation of educational system in Bessarabia (a photograph of a group of teachers from the Chisinau Non-Classical Secondary School, "The Initial Course of Romanian language" by I. Doncev (1865), various certificates of graduation) and the activities of some scientific societies from Bessarabia ("Report on the status and activities of the Bessarabian Church Historical and Archaeological Society", "Proceedings of the Bessarabian Society of Naturalists").

In the segment of the exhibition devoted to the rural and urban life of the province the original household items and furniture are incorporated into the reconstructions of a shop showcase, a living room, and a study of the 19th century. Russian influences in the urban environment clearly contrasts with preserved traditionalism in the villages of Bessarabia.


 




Independent Moldova
Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic
Bessarabia and MASSR between the Two World Wars
Bessarabia and Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in the Period between the Two World Wars
Revival of National Movement
Time of Reforms and their Consequences
Abolition of Autonomy. Bessarabia – a New Tsarist Colony
Period of Relative Autonomy of Bessarabia within the Russian Empire
Phanariot Regime
Golden Age of the Romanian Culture
Struggle for Maintaining of Independence of Moldova
Formation of Independent Medieval State of Moldova
Era of the
Great Nomad Migrations
Early Middle Ages
Iron Age and Antiquity
Bronze Age
Aeneolithic Age
Neolithic Age
Palaeolithic Age

  
  
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#Exhibit of the Month

The word pafta is of Turkish origin and is used in almost identical forms in Romanian, Greek, Bulgarian, and Serbian languages and some Aromanian dialects, denoting clothing accessories of a functional and decorative use, which secure or catch one's girdle, sash or belt...

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The National Museum of History of Moldova takes place among the most significant museum institutions of the Republic of Moldova, in terms of both its collection and scientific reputation.
©2006-2022 National Museum of History of Moldova
Visit museum 31 August 1989 St., 121 A, MD 2012, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
Phones:
Secretariat: +373 (22) 24-43-25
Department of Public Relations and Museum Education: +373 (22) 24-04-26
Fax: +373 (22) 24-43-69
E-mail: office@nationalmuseum.md
Technical Support: info@nationalmuseum.md
Web site administration and maintenance: Andrei EMILCIUC

 



The National Museum of History of Moldova takes place among the most significant museum institutions of the Republic of Moldova, in terms of both its collection and scientific reputation.
©2006-2022 National Museum of History of Moldova
Visit museum 31 August 1989 St., 121 A, MD 2012, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
Phones:
Secretariat: +373 (22) 24-43-25
Department of Public Relations and Museum Education: +373 (22) 24-04-26
Fax: +373 (22) 24-43-69
E-mail: office@nationalmuseum.md
Technical Support: info@nationalmuseum.md
Web site administration and maintenance: Andrei EMILCIUC

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The National Museum of History of Moldova takes place among the most significant museum institutions of the Republic of Moldova, in terms of both its collection and scientific reputation.
©2006-2022 National Museum of History of Moldova
Visit museum 31 August 1989 St., 121 A, MD 2012, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
Phones:
Secretariat: +373 (22) 24-43-25
Department of Public Relations and Museum Education: +373 (22) 24-04-26
Fax: +373 (22) 24-43-69
E-mail: office@nationalmuseum.md
Technical Support: info@nationalmuseum.md
Web site administration and maintenance: Andrei EMILCIUC