Posted by Jerry_Silverman on 02-04-2007 06:40 PM:

Whiz-Bang Great Turkmen Book

Dear Turkotekers,

I just stumbled over a fabulous book that will undoubtedly be of interest to our resident Turkomaniacs and, probably, a lot of the rest of you as well. It was new to me and, since I spend a bit of time digging around in the world of rug books, it may well be new to you.

"Muzick voor de ogen (Music for the eyes): Textile from the peoples of Central Asia"

It is the catalog of an exhibition held in 1997 - 1998 at the Hessenhuis in Antwerp, Belgium. No mere display of local collectors' holdings it was done in conjunction with the Russian Ethnographic Museum, St. Petersburg and makes abundant use of its rich holdings.

This is a veritable doorstop of a book - 8-1/2" x 11-1/2" and over 450 pages of heavy, coated paper with stiff paper covers. If I had a week I could tell you how many pictures there are. Suffice it to say, there are a lot - color plates of rugs, textiles, costume, jewelry, metalwork and old black and whites of ethnographic subjects. The color plates are sometimes a tad darkish but most are just fine.

The text is in English and Dutch(?).

Table of contents:

History of the Russian Ethnographic Museum and its Central Asian
collections - L. Popova

Historical and geographical setting - T. Emelyanenko

The yurt - T. Emelyanenko

Textile in yurt contruction - T. Emelyanenko

The construction and decoration of the yurt: chii - E. Tsareva

The construction and decoration of the yurt: doors and lintels - E. Tsareva

Yurt interior: wall and floor felts and curtains - T. Emelyanenko

Yurt interior: wall bags and other textile containers - E. Tsareva

Yurt interior: rugs and carpets - E. Tsareva

Family on the move - L. Popova

Costume - T. Emelyanenko

Textile in costume - T. Emelyanenko

Textile in wedding ceremonies - S. Dmitriev

Textile in rituals and ceremonies of childhood - S. Dmitriev

Textile decoration - L. Popova

William van Rubroek: a monk explores Central Asia - P. Vandepitte

Veaving ikat and ikat velvet in Central Asia - Ch. Verhecken-Lammens

Technical analysis of a "mordant ikat" - A. Verhecken, J. Wouters, Ch. Verhecken-Lammens

Fibres and dyes used in carpets from Central Asia - A. Verhecken

The handle rod loom in Central Asia - L. Pollet

Baluch carpets - R. Smeyers

Turkestan: A cultural-historical complex - A. Van Tongerloo

Now for the tricky part. As best I can tell, this book is not available from any of the specialist rug book dealers. (If I'm wrong, I apologize in advance; but I couldn't find any when I searched.) It does appear, however, to still be availabe from the Hessenhuis museum. I know we're not supposed to use Turkotek to sell or comment on things for sale, but I think this might qualify as an exception to that rule.

Here's the address. Scroll down to find the book.



Posted by Steve Price on 02-04-2007 06:45 PM:

Hi Jerry

We've always treated things like books as outside the prohibition of discussing things that are for sale; I guess because they are commodities of a sort, not one of a kind items. We generally try to avoid recommending a specific vendor except when, as is the case here, sources are hard to find.


Steve Price

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 02-05-2007 01:21 AM:

Hi Jerry

Thanks for the tip. On the Museum website the book is indicated as “Magisch Centraal Azië, 1998”
Here’s a picture of the book. (I found it on eBay - don’t bother, it’s sold):

There’s another catalogue that sounds interesting: 'Kaukasische Volkeren'. Guess it means “People of the Caucasus”. Do you know anything about that one?



Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 02-05-2007 01:35 AM:

Kaukasische Volkeren/The Caucasian Peoples

OK, on Marla Mallett’s website there is a short review of Kaukasische Volkeren:

Kaukasische Volkeren/The Caucasian Peoples. V. Dmitriev ed. Antwerp, 2001. 325 pages. Paper. Museum exhibition catalog of the material culture of the peoples of the Caucasus mountains loaned by the Russian Ethnographic Museum. Includes chapters on carpets and textiles. Fascinating historic photos.


Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 02-07-2007 06:25 AM:

Well, two days ago I e-mailed the museum

inquiring about the purchase of the catalogue.
No answer so far.
Anyone with better luck?


Posted by louis_dubreuil on 03-14-2007 05:22 AM:


bonjour à tous

In order to find the book with the usual search engines it would be fine to have the ISBN # (the title both in dutch and in english doesn't work)


Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 03-14-2007 05:54 AM:

Bonjours Louis,

I doubt it.
Anyway… I e-mailed the museum again, this time in French. No answer.
Well, if by any chance you pass through Anvers, go to the museum and wake them up, please!
Ah, ces Belges!


Posted by Chuck Wagner on 03-14-2007 07:16 AM:

Hi Filiberto,

I also emailed them, about 2 days after Jerry first posted this info, with a resounding silence in return.

Quelle disappointment...


Chuck Wagner

Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 03-14-2007 07:30 AM:

Incidentally, Marla Mallett wrote me that she "bought the Caucasian Peoples book from Paul Kreiss (Rug Book Shop), in Baltimore , MD. ... I don’t know if he handles international orders or not. "
You Americans could inquire there for the other book.
Here's the link:



Posted by louis_dubreuil on 03-14-2007 10:54 AM:

link to karakalpak

during my recent googeling about the Muzieck voor de ogen book I have found a site about Karakalpak (the book is cited in the bibliography I suppose) that seems interesting (I have not went in the deepth of it).

this is

Filiberto : you can find lots of things with the ISBN #, especially in which is in my opinion the best of the searching engine for books.

Amicales salutations


Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 03-14-2007 11:34 AM:

Louis, I had a cursory look at
It's a wonderful website - very informative. Worth exploring in detail.
Merci beaucoup.


Posted by louis_dubreuil on 03-14-2007 01:21 PM:



Yes it is a serious site made from field work. There is an extra article on this site about qarshins. Just go to

About the embroidery sampler, design and technics are near of the palestinian or bedoin work. I have found something approaching in a book about Syria.



Posted by Filiberto Boncompagni on 03-14-2007 01:32 PM:

Hi Louis,

That page on qarshins has been already recorded on my HD one hour ago

Posted by louis_dubreuil on 04-11-2007 01:29 PM:

museum answer


After a certain time, I have got an answer from the Antwerpen Museum I had asked by a simple fax. The answer is an invoice for the two books (Muziek voor de ogen and Kaukasische Volkeren), for the reasonable price, including shipping to france of about 92 euros (about 123 usd, 66.46 usd for the first, 39.79 for the second)). The payment can be done by an IBAN transfer.
The fax number is 003232060370 (from france, maybe the prefix is diferent from other countries)

Amicales salutations


Posted by louis_dubreuil on 04-26-2007 06:38 AM:


I have got the books from the museum. The delivery is normal and quite fast. For overseas shipping I think the packaging could be a little weak due to the weight of the books (ask for a solid packaging)
Great books indispensable to each serious turkmen and caucasian lovers. They give infos on complentary subjects of the every day life of turkem peoples and caucasian peoples. Great chapters about costumes, yurts, felts....

A real pleasure, numerous pictures.

Amitiés à tous et merci à Jerry pour le tuyau