Charles James Theriat (American, 1860-1934)
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Charles James Theriat (American, 1860-1934)

Playing the Derbakeh, Biskra

Details
Charles James Theriat (American, 1860-1934)
Playing the Derbakeh, Biskra
signed, inscribed and dated 'C. J. THERIAT BISKRA. 89.' (lower right)
oil on panel
12¾ x 16 in. (32.4 x 40.6 cm.)
Painted in 1889.
Exhibited
Boston, Fuller Museum of Art, Boston Art Club Exhibition, 3 July - 19 September 1993.
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Lot Essay

Derbakeh is the Arabic word for an hour-glass shaped drum with lamb skin at one side, and an open end at the other side. The body of the derbakeh is constructed of either clay or metal, and is played with the palms and fingers while on the lap or between the knees of the musician. The derbakeh's origins can be traced back to ancient Armenia, where it was called the doumbeg and where some believe it to have been invented before the chair. However, its simple construction and and crisp resonance made it quickly appealling to all of the Middle East and Northern Africa.

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