BOBRINSKOI, Aleksiei Aleksieevich, count.

Ornament gornykh tadzhikov Darvaza (Nagornaia Bukhara)

[Ornament of Darvaz Pamiris (Mountainous Bukhara)].

Moscow: Tipo-lit. t-va I.N. Kushnerev i Ko,

Stock Code: 144207
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Superb record of Tajik textile designs.

First and only edition of this excellent visual record of the traditional designs of the Darvaz Pamiris, an ethnic Tajik group settled in that region on the Panj river, a tributary of the Amu Darya or Oxus in the south eastern part of Bukhara, now part of the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Superb quality "phototype" plates of textiles, the colour plates printed on lightly textured paper to excellent effect.

In his introductory text Bobrinskoi describes Darvaz as a picturesque and fertile region, characterised by a mixed population resulting from centuries of conquest and reconquest, and of proximity to the Silk Route, noting that the majority are Sunni Muslims but are not particularly observant. He offers a brief overview of local customs and culture concentrating particularly the preservation traditional motifs in the decoration of textiles and clothing. Women covered veils, collars, sleeves, bodices, head and neck bands, head coverings and towels with colourful decoration. Of particular interest are women's ceremonial veils or chash bands. Tajik women went unveiled, but wore a gorgeously embroidered face covering for the wedding ceremony, these veils being passed down in wealthier families. The crisply detailed plates are divided into two sections: the first nine showing silk embroidery on cotton; plates 10-19 being of knitted woollen stockings, the patterns of which many years later were to remind Wilhelm Filchner of Fair Isle. The leaf leaf is of a patterned woollen rug. The author, count Bobrinskoi (1852-1927), was a historian and prominent nationalist politician of the immediate pre-Revolution period, who served for 30 years as the chairman of the Imperial Archaeological Commission. He fled Russia after the October Revolution and settled in France, an indefatigable campaigner in the monarchist cause. A handsome volume, if somewhat fragile, and certainly uncommon, just 10 locations on WorldCat. Attractive bookplate of the artist Mikhail Mikhailovich Tarkhanov (1888-1962) to the front pastedown, press-mark and acquisition date in 1918 pencilled to the front free endpaper. A pupil of Kandinsky, Tarkhanov was noted for his abstract "picturesque textured improvisations" and experimental photograms, as well as for his work in applied arts particularly book design.

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Folio (374 x 290 mm). Original grey-green cloth-backed heavy card wrappers, title printed on the front panel.


20 plates stub-mounted on thin tissue, 5 of them tipped-in chromophototypes, the rest collotypes.


The wrappers a little rubbed and browned at the margins, light toning, sporadic foxing, some of the tipped-in plates lifting, but overall very good.


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