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The Emir of Bokhara and his Country.

Journeys and Studies in Bokhara (With a Chapter on my Voyage on the Amu Darya to Khiva.)

Published: Copenhagen: Gyldendalske Boghandel, Nordisk Forlag; London, William Heinemann, 1911

Stock code: 104298

Price: £2,500

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This item is on show at 43 Dover Street (map)

First Edition. This copy inscribed by the author on the title page. Highly detailed and well-illustrated study of the region by the Secretary of the Royal Danish Geographical Society, drawing on the material accumulated during his command of the First and Second Danish Pamir Expeditions, 1896-97, 1898-99, from which he brought back more than 700 artefacts of ethnographic and scientific significance now at the Danish National Museum in Copenhagen. Olufsen was fluent in Russian and Usbegic, so he was able to conduct his own interviews with natives, employing only a Tajik interpreter with whom he conversed in Ottoman Turkish. In Bokhara the travellers “were welcomed as guests” by the Emir, lengthening their stay, with the result that the present study “can be used as a work of reference on the details of the region’s architecture, archaeology, customs, religions, traditional costume, and for its profuse illustration from photographs of ethnographic and handcrafted pieces, monuments and local peoples” (Gorshenina, Explorateurs en Asie Centrale. Voyageurs et aventuriers de Marco Polo à Ella Maillart, pp. 225, cataloguer’s translation). Quite a fragile production, the thin cloth, heavy text-block, and large folding map all contributing to the frail condition of copies usually encountered, this, lightly and skilfully restored, is a very superior copy, and very uncommon indeed inscribed.

Large octavo. Original plum cloth, title gilt to front board and spine. Large folding coloured map in band inside lower board, numerous half-tone illustrations from the author’s own photographs to the text, many full-page. A little rubbed, the spine lettering a touch oxidised, judicious restoration at the head of the spine, light foxing to the prefatory matter and fore-edge, else very good.

Bibliography: Howgego, IV, O7; Yakushi O34.

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