General description: A rich aristocratic couple, which from the man’s turban are a Druze Sheikh and his wife (shaykhah)
Dimensions Man: 23 x 8.5 x 5 cm; Woman: 28 x 9.5 x 8 cm
Date when acquired Mid 1960s (I seem to remember 1965)
Original Date Mid 1960s
Source Beirut, Lebanon. A present from my father when he visited the “Paris of the Middle East” on business.
The heads are made of pottery. The man’s turban and tarboush are also integral parts of the pottery head. The faces are painted on. The body, arms and legs are padded material. The hands have been painted a light brown. The woman’s tantour is made of plastic painted with grey to look like silver.
Both dolls are fixed to wooden blocks (1 x 5 x 4 cm). The woman’s block does not provide her with much stability, which is why over the years she has repeatedly fallen over onto her face, causing damage to her nose and left eyebrow.
The Sheik is wearing a suit made of pink and silver brocade consisting of a jacket and very wide baggy trousers (sherwal). The richness of the material and the wideness of his trousers are indicators of his wealth. He has a cummerbund around his waist made of a black material striped with silvery metal threads. On his feet are short black boots. On his head is a red tarboush wrapped with a white turban, indicating that he is a Druze.
The Shaykhah is wearing a jacket-like dress (gambaz) over a white silk high-necked blouse and baggy trousers (sherwal). The gambaz is open at the front and is made of white and silver brocade. It has red zig-zag braid around the neck and down both sides of the front and around the arms. The gambaz is held together by a cummerbund made of black brocade. She has black low boots like her husband.
Most impressive is her headdress, a silver tantour. Its spike is 6 cm long and is closely fitted to her head. At the top is a large red gem inset in the rounded point. Black velvet ribbons hang down from each side of her head. The tantour has a red veil attached to its pinnacle, not the white one reported.
The Sheik is holding a sword in his right hand. It looks a little like an Indian sosun pattah.
See Lebanon: General information and Lebanon: the Tantour
Source(s) of information