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Images from The Beede Gallery

Persian Lute and Drum

NMM 2420. Long-necked lute (tar) and NMM 2424. Goblet drum (zarb), Persia, ca. 1925

Left:  NMM 2420.  Long-necked lute (tār), Iran (Persia), ca. 1925. Sharply waisted wood resonator is painted with figurative panels on a green ground depicting lovers playing the tār and holding wine cups, lions hunting various prey, and roosters and other birds against a floral background. The horn bridge rests on the thin skin of a lamb's fetus. Built probably as a decorative piece, rather than for playing. Purchase funds gift of Barnes and Usher Abell, Vermillion, 1978.

Right:  NMM 2424.  Goblet drum (zarb or dombak), Iran (Persia), ca. 1925. Clay drum with goatskin head. Four figurative panels, after the Savafid style, depict scenes of feasting beneath leafy trees. The subjects on one are a lute (tār) player and two gossiping ladies, the panel opposite with a male servant offering wine to two seated men. A lady in the panel on the stem holds a wine flask and inclines her head towards a seated man drinking wine. The gulbulbul—a rose and nightingale motif found in all the arts of Persia—appears in several places. A wreath of large roses encircles the foot of the drum. Purchase funds gift of Barnes and Usher Abell, Vermillion, 1978.

Literature:  Sarah E. Smith, "Percussion Instruments in America's Shrine to Music Museum," Percussive Notes: The Journal of the Percussive Arts Society, Vol. 37, No. 1 (February 1999), p. 6.

André P. Larson, The National Music Museum: A Pictorial Souvenir (Vermillion: National Music Museum, 1988), p. 31.

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