Italian Minstrel

Italian Minstrel

Monday, 23 August 2010

The Emir of Bukhara had a very fine coat

The Emir of Bukhara 
Let me introduce you to the Emir of Bukhara c. 1910 a fellow highly decorated with medals and sword, but for me, it is the beauty of his silk coat which stands out. The gorgeous peacock blue with the vibrancy of those flowers, all of which would have been hand-embroidered, are just exquisite. The quality of the work would have been of the highest order.

My son sent me a link to a series of photographs showing life in the Russian Empire during the first decade of the 1900s - with all its diversity - and the Emir was one of them, as well as the demure Armenian lady in her national costume below, again very finely embroidered. Being highly interested in history as well as textiles these two photographs really captured my imagination.

How careful people must have been with their clothing when they had to make everything by hand. These photographs are so evocative and capture something of life in the Russian Empire which seems so colourful and almost tribal, a far cry from the drab communist the Russia, of the majority of the 20th century.

Armenian Lady in National Costume c.1910

The link for those who want to see more of these excellent photographs is:
- they are from the Prokudin-Gorskii collection bought by the Library of Congress (USA) in 1948 and who have made these accessible. Thank you.

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