Daniel Waugh. Books from the time of pandemic: notes and comments // H-EarlySlavic. Networks.h-net.org

Daniel Waugh. Books from the time of pandemic: notes and comments // H-EarlySlavic. Networks.h-net.org

Рецензия на книгу: Басханов М. К., Резван Е. А., «Кашгар: фотолетопись Большой игры (коллекции Н.Ф. Петровского и Я.Я. Лютша в собрании МАЭ РАН)»

M[ikhail] K[azbekovich] Baskhanov, E[fim] A[natol’evich] Rezvan. Kashgar: Fotoletopis’ Bol’shoi Igry. Kollektsii N. F. Petrovskogo i Ia. Ia. Liutscha v sobranii MAE RAN / Kashgar: Images from the Great Game. Photographic Collections of Nikolai Petrovskii and Iakov Lutsch from the Kunstkamera, St Petersburg. Sankt-Peterburg: Nestor-Istoriia, 2021. 624 pp. ISBN 978-5-4469-1906-2.

The publication of some of the hugely important Russian collections of materials for the study of Central Asia and the historic Silk Roads includes recent initiatives to mine the riches of the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (the Kunstkamera) in St. Petersburg. This book, beautifully published (but for a distressingly weak attachment of the binding) includes two very valuable collections: the photographs taken by the first Russian consul in Kashgar, Nikolai Petrovskii, and those of his consular secretary Iakov Liutsch. The photos generally are of superb quality, nicely printed here on glossy paper. 

While a great many are from Kashgar and its immediate environs, some were taken on the routes connecting it with Russian Central Asia. And a significant part of Liutsch’s oeuvre is photos of Samarkand. The photos are valuable for documenting historic buildings, many of which have either deteriorated or disappeared, in some cases under the ostensible if misguided goal of politically-inspired “restoration” in recent years. The photographs document various aspects of local life. A good many are the kind of formal portraits of “ethnic types” that were popular a century or more ago. There are some photos of particular historic interest for the history of the so-called “Great Game”, in which Petrovskii was a key player. Facing each photo in the book is a quotation from one or another of the early Russian descriptive accounts relating to what the photo depicts.

Baskhanov has provided an extensive and very informative introduction (in part based on materials in the National Archives in London). His essay covers the careers of Petrovskii and Liutsch, the mission which brought Francis Younghusband to Kashgar, the first British consul there, George Macartney, and, interestingly, the British officer Hamilton Bower, whose acquisition of a very early Buddhist manuscript (now known by his name as the “Bower Manuscript”) helped to fuel the interest in acquiring Central Asian antiquities. Petrovskii would play a key role in acquiring such material for Russian collection and also was well known for hosting some of the important early European explorers of Central Asia, among them Sven Hedin. E. A. Rezvan’s contribution to this volume includes a long essay on early photography in Central Asia and the important collections of it in the Kunstkamera.

One of the great virtues of this fascinating book is the publication of its text in both Russian and English, which means it is fully accessible to a good many readers who may not know Russian but for whom this material is of huge interest. The Kunstkamera has been digitizing a lot of its photo collection, including thousands of images from Central Asia (though still little of what is in the book under review here). One can access the material from well-designed web pages at http://collection.kunstkamera.ru/entity/OBJECT?fund=44.


Басханов М. К., Резван Е. А. Кашгар: фотолетопись Большой игры (коллекции Н.Ф. Петровского и Я.Я. Лютша в собрании МАЭ РАН)

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Организации: Музей антропологии и этнографии им. Петра Великого (Кунсткамера) Российской академии наукПетербургский музей исламской культуры

Об авторах: Басханов Михаил Казбекович, Резван Ефим Анатольевич

Рецензенты: д.и.н. И. А. Алимов и д.и.н. Н. Н. Дьяков

Год издания: 2021

ISBN 978-5-4469-1906-2

624 страницы, твердый переплет, Формат 60×90 1/8, черно-белые иллюстрации

Книга организована по принципу билингвы: русский и английский текст приведен параллельно.


Книга посвящена исследованию и вводу в международный научный оборот уникальной фотоколлекции из собрания МАЭ РАН, составленной известными русскими дипломатами и востоковедами генеральным консулом России в Кашгаре Н. Ф. Петровским (1837–1908) и секретарем консульства Я. Я. Лютшем (1854 — после 1924). 

Коллекция важна прежде всего тем, что зафиксировала Кашгар в разгар Большой игры, в период, когда активное проникновение иностранцев в край только начиналось. Фотографий этого периода (1880–1890-х гг.) известно очень мало. За этими временными рамками — значительно больше (Свен Гедин, Аурел Стайн, Густав Маннергейм и др. исследователи). 

В этом отношении коллекция МАЭ РАН лежит на перекрестке хронологий, цивилизационных переходов и многих эпизодов Большой игры и сопровождавшей ее «археологической гонки». Русско-английское двуязычное издание представляет впечатляющий визуальный образ региона, который сегодня вновь становится сценой активной международной политики и имеет большое значение для изучения истории и культуры цивилизаций на древнем Шелковом пути.

M. K. Baskhanov, E. A. Rezvan KASHGAR IMAGES FROM THE GREAT GAME. Photographic Collections of Nikolai Petrovskii and Iakov Lutsch from the Kunstkamera, St Petersburg

Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) RAS
Saint Petersburg Museum of Islamic Culture
Nestor-Historia Saint Petersburg 2021


This book introduces a unique photographic collection from the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera, St Petersburg) compiled by Nikolai Petrovskii (1837–1908) and Yakov Lutsch (1854 – after 1924), two esteemed Russian diplomats and orientologists, who carried out diplomatic duties at Kashgar during the height of ‘the Great Game’ in Central Asia. The collection is an important and rare visualisation of Chinese Turkestan (modern Xinjiang), a remote westernmost region of China, at a time of early Western influence. The photographic images of Chinese Turkestan during the 1880–90s being very scarce. Beyond this time frame, more photographs have survived to our days, authored by well-known Western travellers to the region like Sven Hedin, Aurel Stein, Gustaf Mannerheim, and many others. In this regard, the Kunstkamera’s photographic collection is of great historical importance.  While presenting the region through unique visual presentation, it also sheds light on many unknown episodes of ‘the Great Game’ and the ‘archaeological race’ of the Western powers.
The Russian-English bilingual edition presents an impressive visual image of the region, which is of significant importance for studying the history and culture of civilisations along the ancient Silk Road. Today, this region has once more become a focal point of international relations and keen world interest.

© МАЭ РАН (фотографии), 2021© М. К. Басханов, Е. А. Резван (составление), 2021

При оформлении обложки использованы иллюстрации: Лицевая сторона — фотография церемонии передачи земли под памятник А. Шлагинтвейту в Кашгаре. НА РГО. Разряд 112. Оп. 1. Д. 24. Л. 1. Задняя сторона — фигурка индуистской богини-воина Дурга Деви, Семиречье / Китайский Туркестан, IX–X вв., бронза. Частная коллекция, Шотландия.

По ту сторону границ: Кашгар периода Большой игры в фотообъективе русских дипломатов

Фотоколлекции Н. Ф. Петровского и Я. Я. Лютша (контекст и история формирования) 

Фотографическая коллекция Н. Ф. Петровского

Фотографическая коллекция Я. Я. Лютша

Таблица №1

Словарь восточных терминов 

Список сокращений

Литература и источники

Beyond the Frontiers: Kashgar and ‘the Great Game’ Seen Through the Photographic Lens of Russian Diplomats

The Context and History Behind Petrovskii and Lutsch’s Collections of Photography

N. F. Petrovskii’s Photographic Collection

Ya. Ya. Lutsch’s Photographic Collection

Table №1



Sources and bibliography