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Early collection of Persian folklore & music

Zhukovskii, Valentin Alekseevich Obraztsy persidskago narodnago tvorchestva. Pesni pevtsov-muzykantov, pesni svadebnye, pesni kolybel'nye, zagadki, obraztsy raznogo soderzhaniya. [Specimens of Persian Folk Creativity. Songs of Singers-Musicians, Wedding Songs, Lullabies, Riddles, samples of various content.] St. Petersburg I. Boraganskago 1902
First edition. Small 4to (29.5 x 19.5 cm), pp.[iv], ix, [1, blank], 279, [2], [1, blank], 10 colour illustrations on 5 plates, 1 black-and-white portrait, with 9-page addenda loosely inserted. A very good copy bound in modern blue cloth, all edges untrimmed, mostly unopened.

The first substantial collection of Persian folk music published, compiled by the brilliant Russian orientalist Valentin Alekseevich Zhukovskii (1858-1918) during a three-year tour of Iran from 1883 to 1886 and a second long stint in Tehran in 1899. The text contains several hundred songs, riddles, and verses, printed in Persian with Russian translation, each annotated to indicate the year and location where Zhukovskii collected them. The colour illustrations are after Qajar drawings of women, including musicians, dancers, and mothers singing lullabies. The portrait is of Mirza Riza Kermani, who assassinated the Qajar shah Naser al-Din in 1896 and was executed in the same year.