Wood and Lacquer
Violin, Small Lutes And Rabab (or Rewap)
Ottoman Turkey and China, Kashgar
19th and 20th century
Materials and technique
Wood, mother of pearl, tortoise shell, skin
The small string instrument is a Turkish fiddle, known as the Kamanja Rumi (‘fiddle of Rome’). Decorated with mother-of-pearl and tortoise shell, it has a flat wooden face. The neck, upper section and underside are inlaid with designs of scrolling foliage and floral sprays. The two Turkish lutes represents a hybrid between an oud and a tanbur. The neck is inlaid with bone and these were probably made in Istanbul in the first half of the twentieth century. The long-neck lute, known as the Kashgar rabab or rewap is used by the Uyghur communities in south-west China. This is an important instrument in the performance of the Uyghur mukam (classical suite form). The body and part of the neck are carved from a single piece of mulberry wood, in a half coconut shape, and the front is covered with snake skin. The pegbox is glued to the neck, and turns backwards in a curve, with two pegs on the right and three pegs on the left. Inlay decoration of black and white horn in fishbone, triangles and stripes covers the instrument.
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