Antique Balisht, Baluch Tribes, Khorassan Province, North-East ...

Item Number
BMac5

The wool quality in this 'balisht' is soft and lustrous. Of course it had to be, as the 'balisht' was a pillow-bag for resting one's head on at night and for lounging on during the day. Balishts are quite different from grain-bags which were much coarser in weave and wool quality and used for harder work. Many antique balishts found today have had their backs removed by unscrupulous dealers who thought they had a better chance of selling them as small floor rugs! This beautiful example is complete with original plain-weave back, made by Baluch nomads around 1900 with a natural camel-hair field.
Size: 89cm x 43cm (2' 11" x 1' 5").
£850

Antique Flat-Weave, Kurds of Eastern Anatolia.

Item Number
BM/NZ

Here we see a beautiful quality flat-weave, woven in two sections due to the narrow looms used, and made by Kurdish nomads around 1900 in eastern Anatolia.
The flat-weave has lovely natural colours and is in very good condition.
Size: 2.10m x 1.50m (6' 11" x 4' 11")
£1,150

Antique Kilim, Qashqa'i Tribes, Fars Province, South-West ...

Item Number
BM1281

An attractive kilim made by Qashqa'i nomads in south-west Persia during the early 20th century and in excellent condition.
Size: 2.90m x 1.52m (9' 6" x 5' 0")
£950

Old Dining Sofreh, Kamo, Central Persia.

Item Number
BMac4

I love the simplistic visual attractiveness of the sofrehs from the village area of Kamo in central Iran. This one, not dissimilar to the one on the front cover of my recently printed 3rd edition book 'Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent', depicts mountains and I suspect, rivers flowing through the area, absolutely charming in every way. However, in my years of dealing and handling Kamo sofrehs, I have never seen a 'dining' sofreh - those are the longer, narrow flat-weaves which were used to spread on the floor at mealtimes and bread, bowls of food, tea etc. spread out on the dining sofreh whilst the tribes-people would sit around cross-legged. All the sofrehs I have seen and handled have been 3'-4' square 'bread' sofrehs - used for kneading the dough on. This is therefore a rare and stunning flat-weave in excellent original condition.
Size: 1.38m x 0.58m (4' 6" x 1' 11").
POA

Antique Bijar Rug, Bijar, North-West Persia.

Item Number
BMac3

This charming little rug in full, lustrous pile, was made in the Bijar region of north-west Persia during the first half of the 20th century. The overall design, in natural colours, is called in Persian 'herati' - symbolising two fish swimming around water-lilies in a water-garden.
Size: 96cm x 70cm (3' 2" x 2' 3").
£650

Antique Qashqa'i Rug, Shekarlu Taifeh, Fars Province, ...

Item Number
BMac2

This Qashqa'i - Shekarlu rug is just fabulous. In very good overall condition, albeit with the selvedges replaced, the rug has glowing full-pile shiny wool. The indigo-blue field contains a myriad of tribal symbols, typical of the Shekarlu palette. The border too is typically Shekarlu but this rug has to be seen to be really appreciated.
Take a look at the detail images to get a better idea of the natural colours. Made in the second half of the 19th century in Fars Province, south-west Persia, this is a rare and highly collectable rug.
Size: 2.21m x 1.71m (7' 3" x 5' 7").
POA

An Introduction to 'TRIBAL RUGS'

Item Number

The term 'Tribal Rugs' loosely refers to the carpets, rugs and trappings of the nomadic peoples of Anatolia (Turkey), the Caucasus, Persia (Iran), Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.
The very best and most collectable rugs and weavings date to before 1900 - those that were made from high quality hand-spun wool and vegetable dyes. However, there are some exceptional pieces that were made into the 1930's where certain tribes were unaffected by the introduction of chemical colours which appeared in the East from the late 19th century and happened to destroy the use of the age-old natural colours.
Today, exceptional tribal rugs are rare and hard to acquire from a dealer's point of view, and those private sources and collectors acquiring such pieces from a dealer, are generally, in many cases, getting a 'very good deal' in a market obsessed with the so-called 'vintage' look.
Since my days living with the Afshar and Qashqa'i nomads, back in the 1970s, I have been passionate about acquiring the very best quality 19th century and earlier rugs and weavings of the nomadic tribes, something I carry on with today and will continue to do so until I'm on my way to Paradise - if I'm to head in that direction!!
My website, I hope, displays those rare and exceptional carpets, rugs and weavings, all broken down into their tribal categories.
So please enjoy looking at those works of woven art and maybe you too, will find the incredible pleasure that they have given me over the years and still continue to do so.
Let your heart be your guide!
Brian MacDonald.
POA

Antique Qashqa'i Rug, Bolvardi Taifeh, Fars Province, ...

Item Number
BM/BD2

This charming little rug with its beautiful light-green outer and inner borders, was possibly made by the Bolvardi taifeh of the Qashqa'i Confederacy circa 1890. The rug is in lovely condition with beautiful soft, glossy wool and a depiction of various animal life throughout the central field.
Size: 1.27m x 0.81m (4' 2" x 2' 8").
POA

Antique Soumak Carpet, Daghestan/Kuba Region, Eastern Caucasus. ...

Item Number
BM/SMK

Just in, this stunning decorative Soumak carpet has wonderful, soft natural colours and is in very good overall condition bar some tiny areas requiring minor restoration. Acquired in Spain, it was apparently acquired by the family in 1909. I estimate the age is somewhere between 1880 and 1900.
Size: 3.20m x 2.24m (10' 6" x 7' 4").
POA

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

Item Number
BM/TC

The madder-red field in this exceptionally fine Teke chuval (bedding-bag), can be compared to the most desirable reds in the weavings of the highly collectable Salor Turkmen. The chuval has highlights of cochineal-dye silk and was a very special piece when it was made. Although there is a small area of moth damage and the original selvedges are missing and the flat-woven back has long gone, the chuval still exudes power and intense beauty - a sign of the very highest quality work of the Teke weavers during the third quarter of the 19th century.
Size: 1.18m x 0.66m (3' 10" x 2' 2").
POA

Antique Turkmen Chuval, Sariq Tribe, Turkmenistan, Central ...

Item Number
BM/JS2

An attractive chuval (bedding-bag) made by Sariq Turkmen circa 1900-1920. The bag is missing its original flat-woven back and is now more suitable for floor use.
Size:
£475

Antique Salt-Bag, Zaggar Mangal Nomads, South-East Persian ...

Item Number
BM/FC2

A finely woven little salt-bag, made circa 1900 by Zaggar Mangal nomads in the south-east borderlands with Baluchistan. The back is the same as the front - beautiful work.
Size:
£475

Antique Bag-Face, Kurdish Tribes, Kurdistan.

Item Number
BM/KB

This bag-face was once part of a large saddle-bag and lost its other half at some point in the past! Made during the early 20th century, the side borders are missing and new selvedges added.
Size:
£175

Antique Turkmen Mafrash, Ersary Tribes, Northern Afghanistan. ...

Item Number
BM/ET

A charming little mafrash (personal belongings bag) woven in brocade technique with plain-weave cotton back. Made during the early 20th century, the bag is in very good condition.
Size: 81cm x 36cm (2' 8" x 1' 2").
£175

Antique Turkmen Jollar, Ersary Tribes, Northern Afghanistan. ...

Item Number
BM/EJ

The Jollar was used to decorate the wedding camel during the marriage procession. Made by Ersary Turkmen in north Afghanistan circa 1900, it is in excellent condition.
Size: 1.73m x 0.51m (5' 8" x 1' 8").
£350

Antique Salt-Bag, Baluch Tribes, Khorassan, North-East Persia. ...

Item Number
BM/BSB

Made by Baluch nomads during the early 20th century, this salt-bag (namakdan) is in very good condition, with a knotted-pile face and a plain-weave back.
Size:
£350

Antique Vanity-Bag, Baluch Tribes, Khorassan, North-East Persia. ...

Item Number
BM/BC

This small vanity-bag (chanteh) is complete and in knotted-pile on both faces. Made around the early 20th century, the bag is in excellent condition.
Size: 37cm x 33cm (14" x 13").
£275

Antique Salt-Bag, Afshar Nomads, Kerman Province, South ...

Item Number
BM/AFSB

A large and attractive salt-bag (namakdan) of the Afshar nomads, made circa 1900.
Size: 69cm x 53cm (2' 3" x 1' 9").
£375

Antique Qashqa'i Rug, Possibly Shesh Boluki Tribe, ...

Item Number
BM1301

A truly gorgeous little rug of the Shesh Boluki taifeh of the Qashqa'i Confederacy, made circa 1890-1900. The rug, all vegetable dyes and in excellent condition, contains large curvilinear botehs in the indigo-blue field and surrounded by a myriad of birds and animals, including one solitary fat chicken! The wool is soft and shiny and the rug retains its original piled skirts at each end.
Size: 1.78m x 1.09m (5' 10" x 3' 7").
POA

Antique Khamseh Confederacy Rug, Arab Jabareh Taifeh, ...

Item Number
BM/SC1

This charming little rug was made by the Arab Jabareh tribe of the Khamseh Confederacy around 1890-1900. It comprises a myriad of birds, chickens, double-headed sun-birds and two human figures in the centre. The indigo-blue field glows and the rug is in excellent condition.
Size: 1.53m x 1.07m (5' 0" x 3' 6").
POA

Antique Khamseh Confederacy Tribal Rug, Baharlu Sub-Tribe, ...

Item Number
BM/HD

This fabulous rug belongs to a rare tribal group within the Khamseh Confederacy - the Baharlu nomads. It is elegant in its drawing - the weaver probably inspired by the classical carpets during the 19th century. Made around 1870-1880, the beautiful vegetable colours just glow and the rug is in excellent overall condition with only very minor wear.
Size: 1.91m x 1.42m (6' 3" x 4' 8").
POA

Antique Turkmen Chuval, Yomut Tribes, Trans-Caspian Steppes, ...

Item Number
BM/AE4

Chuvals were made in pairs with flat-woven backs and were large bedding-bags for tying to the flanks of the camel during long migrations. This chuval has lost its flat-woven back - and its mate - but nevertheless a nice example made by Yomut Turkmen around 1900.
Size: 1.22m x 0.79m (4' 0" x 2' 7").
£950

Antique Turkmen Rug, Teke Tribes, Turkmenistan, Central ...

Item Number
BM/AE2

Here we have a nice decorative Teke Turkmen rug in very good condition, made circa 1900.
Size: 1.40m x 1.12m (4' 7" x 3' 8").
£1,100

Antique Prayer-Rug, Baluch Tribes, Khorassan Province, North-East ...

Item Number
BM/AE3

This charming prayer-rug, made by Baluch tribes around 1900, contains a camel-hair field with 'tree-of-life' rising upwards. The two panels on either side of the mihrab contain hands - a reminder where to place hands during prayer. In good condition.
Size: 1.73m x 0.92m (5' 8" x 3' 0").
£950