Rare Antique "Ghichak Posti"
I have recently sold this unique instrument to the Music Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona in the USA.
After some more research, we have decided to call the instrument a Ghichak posti (skinned ghichak). Ghichak is a general name given to a wide range of bowed instruments. Apparently, it is played in Northeast Afghanistan Pamir, Badakhshan, Wakhan as well as in Chitral and possibly Nooristan. Unfortunately, we have not found any visual references as yet. The search continues.
The wire decoration, silver plate and turquoise inlay does imply Afghani craftsmanship. Also, the head figurine has some resemblance with Nooristans sculptures from before the mandatory Muslim religion took over the main part of Nooristan, which was only about 120 years ago. This coincides with the probable age of the instrument.
At the moment, I can only say that this instrument is unique. However, I am open to any new ideas or evidence that will add to this story so far. So, if anyone has more information, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org