Antique Agra Carpet, Agra, India.

Item Ref
BM/HC

This beautiful Agra carpet has been in the possession of an old English family since the early 20th century and was acquired by the current owner's grandfather. The carpet is now up for sale, in very good overall condition and dates to the last quarter of the 19th century.
Size: 5.00m x 3.70m (16' 0" x 12' 0").
POA

Antique 'Tasheh' (Wheat Sack), Luri-Bakhtiari Tribes, Western ...

Item Ref
BM/T2

'Tashehs' or wheat sacks, were, as the name implies, used for containing wheat and loaded onto the flanks of the pack animals during long migrations. They were made as seen after which the sides and base were brought together and sewn-up with goat-hair, leaving an opening at the top into which the wheat was poured. Each wheat sack had its own identity - a bottle-shape knotted-pile centre which was a totemic symbol for each family. In the 1940s, plastic and gunny sacks arrived in the bazaars of Iran and started to replace the age-old woven wheat sacks. This period saw the demise of the tasheh and today they are rare. This sack retains its original goat-hair hanging loops and as you hopefully might imagine, make most attractive wall-hangings in the home.
Size: 1.30m x 1.02m (4' 3" x 3' 4").
POA

Antique 'Tasheh' (Wheat Sack), Luri Bakhtiari Tribes, ...

Item Ref
BM/T1

This gorgeous 'tasheh' or wheat sack was made by Luri Bakhtiari nomads during the second quarter of the 20th century and although both sides have been reduced, it will make a most attractive wall-hanging.
Tashehs were totally utilitarian items, used for containing wheat and loaded onto the flanks of pack-animals during long migrations. Woven on ground looms as you see it, the sides and base were brought together and sewn up using goat-hair.
By the 1940s, plastic and gunny sacks had arrived in the bazaars of Iran and these began to replace the age-old tashehs to the point that they simply died out. Today, old tashehs are rare.
Size: 1.12m x 0.87m (3' 8" x 2' 10").
£475

Antique Double 'Tasheh' (Wheat Sacks), Luri-Bakhtiari Tribes, ...

Item Ref
VS3

It is rare to find a double 'tasheh' (wheat-sack) and this is one I acquired in Iran some 30 years ago and it has just come back to me through the people down-sizing. Illustrated in my book 'Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent' under the chapter on the Bakhtiari, this tasheh was made and dated 1945 - the last period in which these beautiful nomadic pieces were made.
In this case, the double tasheh would have been split down the centre and then each individual piece would have the sides and base brought together, sewn up with goat-hair, leaving an opening at the top in which to pour the wheat. The central bottle-shape was always knotted in woollen pile - each one having its own family identity - and symbolically I believe this to represent the bounty of God. Today, tashehs are best hung on the wall to make fabulous decorative wall-hangings - tribal works of art.
Size: 2.20m x 1.02m (7' 3" x 3' 4").
POA

Antique 'Tasheh' (Wheat Sack), Luri-Bakhtiari Tribes, Western ...

Item Ref
VS2

This wonderful 'tasheh' was made by Luri-Bakhtiari nomads around 1900. Made as a wheat sack ('tasheh' in Persian) on the loom as seen now, both sides would be drawn together, as well as the base, and sewn up with goat hair leaving an opening at the top into which could be poured the wheat. The central part of the tasheh always had a bottle-shape in knotted-pile which I believe was the family motif and symbolically represented the bounty of God.
Sadly, these tashehs were no longer made after the 1940s when plastic and gunny sacks arrived in the Iranian bazaars from the West. Therefore why should a nomad take months to weave such useful sacks when the nomad could barter for plastic sacks! A sad end to a wonderful tribal art. Today, tashehs make attractive and decorative wall-hangings.
Size: 1.07m x 1.00m (3' 6" x 3' 3").
POA

Antique Taimani Tribal Rug, Taimani Nomads, Western ...

Item Ref
BM/T

I love the vibrant, playful natural colours in this little 19th century rug made by Taimani nomads in western Afghanistan. The wool is lustrous and the brocaded skirts remain intact at each end.
The Taimani belong to a group of tribes referred to as the Chahar Aimaq, where 'chahar' means 'four' and 'aimaq' is a Mongolian word for 'nomad'. They inhabit a large area of west-central Afghanistan, particularly around Charchagan in the provinces of Ghor and Farah and are, by far, the largest of the Chahar Aimaq confederation. Rugs of the Taimani have been, and continue to be, incorrectly labelled 'Baluch'.
A charming and delightful little rug.
Size: 1.10m x 0.65m (3' 7" x 2' 2").
POA

Antique Prayer-Rug, Timuri Tribes, Borderlands of Eastern ...

Item Ref
BM/AS

The exceptional 19th century blue-ground prayer-rugs of the Timuri tribes are rare. This one is exceptional. It comprises a stylised 'tree-of-life' in the central indigo-blue field with trees depicted in the hand-panels at the top as well. The skirts, as in the very best examples, are fantastically brocaded and the wool is of the highest quality, sheared once a year from mountain fat-tail sheep.
I have written an article on the prayer-rugs of the Timuri in the forthcoming issue of Carpet Collector, a magazine aimed at connoisseurs of tribal weaving. In this article, I point out what I feel, are the wrong attributions of Timuri rugs being labelled 'Baluch'.
The majority of rugs illustrated in the article are from my own collection but this one will be advertised in the magazine 'for sale'.
POA

Antique Qashqa'i Poshti, Qashqa'i Nomads, Fars Province, ...

Item Ref
BM/QP

Small Poshtis (mats) made by the Qashqa'i are uncommon and this charming little poshti has a myriad of '8-pointed' stars throughout the central field, disappearing under the borders and into infinity. The '8-pointed' star symbolises protection and in Persian, is referred to as 'gezel geichi'.
This little poshti is in good overall condition albeit the pile is evenly low, and was made at the end of the 19th century.
76cm x 54cm (2' 6" x 1' 9").
POA

Antique Salt Bag, Darrehshuri Qashqa'i Nomads, Fars ...

Item Ref
BM/M2

Woven in the 'shisha derma' technique, this magnificent salt bag (namakdan) was made by the Darreshuri taifeh of the Qashqa'i Confederacy in the 19th century. The attached photos show the front and back of the bag including close-up images.
Salt bags were utilitarian containers for rock-salt and nuts and were in everyday use amongst the nomads in the nineteenth century. Bags of this age are now very scarce and very few exist among the tribes in Iran. This one has just come out of Iran and is in very good condition with the remains of its original hanging cords, each cord over-bound in red, yellow and blue wool.
Size: 40cm x 30cm (1' 4" x 1' 0").
POA

Antique Bread Sofreh, Afshar Tribes, Kerman Province, ...

Item Ref
BM/M1

The visual impact from this bread sofreh (flat-weave) is stunning.
Imagine it hanging on a wall and seeing it as woven art every day, what pleasure it would bring. Sadly, I don't have a wall on which to hang it, but if I did, it wouldn't be on my website!!
Bread sofreh were specifically made for kneading the dough and preparing the flat-bread. I remember my trips to Iran to find these sofreh and finding them caked in flour with no design or colour obvious, until of course, they were washed. Then, and only then, could they fully be appreciated, in their simplistic designs and fabulous natural colours, as woven works of nomadic art.
This fabulous sofreh was made during the early 20th century by Afshar nomads in Kerman province, southern Persia, and I see the vertical zig-zags as the symbolic depiction of flowing water, like bread, important ingredients in the sustenance of life in harsh climates.
Size: 1.28m x 1.28m (4' 2" x 4' 2").
POA

Antique Turkmen Rug, Teke Tribes, Akhal Oasis, ...

Item Ref
BM/TR

Just arrived, an early Teke rug made with cochineal-dye wool, from the mid 19th century and originating from the Akhal Oasis in Turkmenistan.
The overall small 'gul' pattern in the central field is rare in rugs of the Teke nomads and more often found in their chuvals (bedding bags).
Note how the weaver started the border (base of rug) with the small 'gul' symbols but then changed her mind by knotting a different border pattern which then powerfully framed the field. The knotted 'elems' or skirts are beautifully drawn and although the overall condition of the pile is evenly low, it doesn't seem to detract from the rug when it's on the floor.
This a truly rare and fabulous example of early Teke work.
Size: 1.65m x 1.22m (5' 5" x 4' 0").
POA

Antique Prayer Rug, Timuri Tribes, Borderlands of ...

Item Ref
TL1

This beautiful 19th century prayer rug, made by Timuri tribes on the borderlands of eastern Persia and western Afghanistan, has been in a US collection for over 60 years.
The rug is in excellent condition and retains its complete brocaded skirts at each end. As is the case with 19th century Timuri work, the vegetable-dye wool is of a superior quality, taken from their fat-tailed sheep, fed on the luscious grass in their summer pastures, high up in the Band-i-Baba and Sia Bubak mountains. The central field comprises of a rare Timuri 'tree' design with highlights of turquoise, which is not easy to see in the attached photos, but I can assure you, it is there!
A rare find and a highly collectable little rug of the Timuri nomads.
Size: 1.37m x 0.81m (4' 6" x 2' 8").
POA

Antique Camel Decoration, Baluch Nomads, Western Afghanistan. ...

Item Ref
SJ1

Camels were decorated during migrations and on special occasions such as weddings, and this beautiful trapping would have been tied around the neck of the camel. Made by either Baluch or Timuri nomads around 1900-1920, this trapping is in excellent condition with original tassels symbolising good luck.
POA

Antique Salt Bag, Timuri Tribes, Borderlands of ...

Item Ref
SJ8

This is an amazing salt bag! In mint condition, all vegetable colours with highlights of silk throughout, it was made by Timuri tribes in the borderlands of eastern Persia and western Afghanistan around the early part of the 20th century. I would guess that this bag was made for a very important member of the tribe such as the chief, possibly a dowry weaving and stored in a bokcha (chest) and possibly never used. The tassels are intact and symbolise good luck to the owner of the bag. An incredible fine knotted pile on both faces and very special.
Size: 91cm x 50cm (3' 0" x 1' 8") including tassels.
POA

Antique Salt Bag, Timuri Tribes, Western Afghanistan ...

Item Ref
SJ6

This old and rare salt bag (namakdan) was made by Timuri nomads in western Afghanistan during the 3rd quarter of the 19th century. The bag has deep saturated natural colours and is in very good condition bar some loss to the top part of the bag on the back. Nevertheless, this is a very collectable salt bag.
Size: 45cm x 34cm (1. 6" x 1. 1").
POA

Antique Prayer-Rug, Timuri Tribes, Western Afghanistan.

Item Ref
SJ5

Rare and deeply saturated in glowing vegetable colours, this prayer-rug was made by Timuri nomads in the mid 19th century. Very few Timuris with this field and border design appear on the market and this rug is in overall very good condition bar some slight corrosion in the dark brown/black dye. In sunlight, as a dear, late friend of mine once said, the colours are like oil floating on water. This rug has to be seen to be fully appreciated, but with the sun shining on it, the colours are amazing. Note the powerful ivory border framing the field and mihrab and the long brocaded skirt at the lower end - again incredibly rare. This is a rug for collectors - a rug of a type of which few exist.
The rug is illustrated in my book 'Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent' on page 90 of the third edition.
Size: 1.30m x 0.86m (4' 3" x 2' 10").
POA

Antique Timuri Tribal Rug, Borderlands of Eastern ...

Item Ref
SJ3

This magnificent rug of the Timuri tribes was made circa 1870 on the borderlands with eastern Persia and western Afghanistan. The rug is in full, soft, silky pile throughout and is complete with beautifully brocaded skirts at each end - a rare thing to see these days! I particularly like the powerful ivory border containing a continuous vine, often seen in the rugs of the Baluch tribes, which frames the beautiful deep indigo-blue field design.
Size: 2.03m x 0.95m (6' 8" x 3' 1").
POA

Antique Balisht (pillow bag-face), Timuri Yaqoub-Khani Tribe, ...

Item Ref
BM/ZM

I acquired this very rare and finely knotted Timuri pillow-bag-face (balisht) around 1978 on my return from Iran and apart from it being in my personal collection for many years and then sold to a private collection several years ago for a short period, it has now been returned to me! This beautiful bag-face with its 'tree-of-life' on a camel-hair background represents, to these nomads, the 3-level universe where the roots of the tree are in the underworld, the trunk is in the earthly world and the branches are in the realms of the spirit. Although sadly missing its flat-woven back and some border loss top and bottom, this is probably the finest balisht I've ever come across. Highly collectable and illustrated in my book 'Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent' it was made by the Yaqoub-Khani tribe around the third quarter 19th century.
Size: 91cm x 43cm (3' 0" x 1' 5")
POA

Antique Vanity-Bag (chanteh), Qashqa'i Nomads, Fars Province, ...

Item Ref
BM/NR

Just found, this beautiful small 'chanteh' (vanity-bag) of the Qashqa'i nomads, made circa 1890-1900 in Fars Province, south-west Persia. The bag is in excellent condition, complete with plain-weave back, all vegetable colours and good soft, lustrous woollen pile consisting of '8-pointed' stars disappearing under the borders and out into infinity.
Size: 30cm x 28cm (12" x 11").
POA

Antique Pair of Saddle-Bags, Timuri Tribes, Western ...

Item Ref
SJ2

Complete 19th century saddle-bags like this one are becoming scarce, as many were cut in half during the early commercial part of the 20th century, to sell as cushions. Therefore it's important that those complete 'khorjin' should be preserved. The Timuri produced probably the most elaborate saddle-bags, particularly as can be seen here in the brocade work that constitutes the bridge. Both knotted-pile bags are in very good condition, as is the plain-weave back. Made in western Afghanistan circa 1880.
Size: 1.28m x 0.56m (4' 2" x 1' 10").
POA

Antique Prayer-Rug, Timuri Tribes, Western Afghanistan.

Item Ref
SJ1

This unusual and charming prayer-rug (namazlik) was made by Timuri tribes in western Afghanistan circa 1900. The overall condition is excellent with soft, shiny wool and highlights of silk and yellow cotton. The rug is complete with attractive brocaded skirts at each end.
Size: 1.27m x 0.81m (4' 2" x 2' 8").
POA

Antique Prayer-Rug, Kordi Tribes of Quchan, North-East ...

Item Ref
BM1328

Just in, this rare and unusual flat-weave and brocade prayer-rug made by Kordi tribes in the Quchan region of north-eastern Persia, circa 1890-1900. The overall condition is good with very slight wear in the lower part of the rug.
Size: 1.22m x 0.74m (4' 0" x 2' 5").
POA

Antique Half Saddle-Bag, Baluch Tribes, North-East Persia. ...

Item Ref
BM/MT

A charming and relatively rare half saddle-bag with an indigo-blue field of cockerels - symbolically the harbinger of the day and dispeller of the night. The bag is in fairly good condition although it has seen wear during quite possibly, a hard life! The back is missing but otherwise complete all round with lappits at the very top. Bags made by the Baluch with cockerels in the field are considered quite rare and collectable. This bag is by no means 'best of type' but charming nevertheless, and this is reflected in the price.
Size: 71cm x 69cm (2' 4" x 2' 3").
£750

Antique Gabbeh, Luri Nomads, Luristan, Western Persia. ...

Item Ref
BMac12

Old gabbehs are rare and particularly in good condition. They were heavily used by the nomads for everyday rugs in the tents and for use as blankets during the long cold nights. Therefore few of this age survive and today have become very collectable in the world market.
This wonderful old gabbeh, made by Luri nomads in western Persia circa 1890-1900, has beautiful soft, lustrous wool, all vegetable colours and with a bold geometric design.
The use of sky-blue in the outer minor borders is particularly attractive.
Size: 2.10m x 1.28m (6' 11" x 4' 2").
POA