Indoislamica

art and rare books relating to India, Central Asia and the Islamic world

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Photographs

Group of Circassian Girls.

Albumen print. Photographer’s credit and number/s in negative ‘Arrrou(?)/ 1225 / 475’. 205 x 270mm. (8 x 10.75ins). Some fading. Circa 1880/1890.

Circassian women came from the Caucasus, a region encompassing some of the Southern part of the Russian Federation, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the fringes of Turkey.

A fairly extensive literary history suggests that Circassian women were unusually beautiful, spirited and elegant, and as such were desirable as slave concubines. This reputation dates back to the Ottoman Empire when Circassian women living in the Sultan's Harem started to build their reputation as extremely beautiful and genteel.

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