Ameer of Afghanistan at Home

The Ameer of Afghanistan at home: Life in His Majesty's Harem The Ameer of Afghanistan at home: Life in His Majesty's Harem The Graphic, 26 November 1904, p. 697.

The illustration with the caption “The Ameer of Afghanistan at home: Life in His Majesty’s harem” was drawn by Balliol Salmon based on material supplied by Mrs. Kate Daly, who for many years was physician to the ladies of the Amir's harem, and who just before had returned to England. The illustration was published in The Graphic, 26 November 1904, p. 697.

The accompanying text tells: “The harem of the Ameer of Afghanistan is not in the least like the pictures one is accustomed to see. The ladies are never seen lounging about as depicted on the stage. One the other hand, they vie with each other in striving to produce the best work in knitting, embroidering, in silk and wool, and in their own beautiful fine stitching. The Queen of the Harem, who is also the favourite wife of the Ameer, often may be seen making her children’s clothes with her sewing machine, whilst one of the ladies of the court reads to her.”

The Los Angeles Times of 27 November 1904 tells: "The Amir's wives and other royal ladies do not live in the voluptuous and idle state usually associated with a harem. They take a great interest in knitting, embroidery and other feminine pursuits, and the chief wife has a sewing machine, with which she makes her children's clothes." 

The illustration shows a number of women engaged in needlework, probably decorative needlework of some kind. Another woman is working on a sewing machine, while yet another woman is either knitting or crochering. One woman is reading from a book.

Source: Kate Daly, Eight Years among the Afghans. My Residence at the Court of the Amir. London 1905.

WV

Last modified on Saturday, 17 December 2016 21:21