Antique Shears-Bag, Shahsevan Nomads of Bijar, North-West ...

Item Number
BM/AU

This charming bag, woven in overlay/underlay brocading technique, was made for containing shears or scissors by Shahsevan nomads in the environs of Bijar, around 1900. It is in very good condition - complete with plain-weave back.
Size: 51cm x 13cm (1' 8" x 5").
£475

Antique Turkmen Torba, Arabachi Tribe, Middle Amu ...

Item Number
BM/GT

Just arrived, this rare and exceptional torba was made by the Arabachi Turkmen during the first half 19th century.
It is in complete, very good condition with a fine weave, good wool and beautiful, saturated natural colours.
Torbas of the Arabachi are uncommon and this is certainly a collector's item.
Size: 1.10m x 0.51m (3' 7" x 1' 8").
POA

Antique Khamseh Confederacy Rug, Baharlu Tribe, Fars ...

Item Number
BM1281

A charming little rug of the Khamseh Confederacy Baharlu tribe, in very good condition, made around 1900.
Note the stylised birds in the middle madder-red border.
Size: 1.58m x 1.27m (5' 2" x 4' 2").
£1,450

Antique Kurdish Vanity-Bag (chanteh), Sanjabi Sub-Tribe, Kurdistan. ...

Item Number
BM/JC

My love of 19th century vanity-bags ('chanteh' in Persian) has always been a passion since I first set eyes on one back in the 1980s. However many I've handled since then, I have rarely found one made by the Kurds. I have just acquired this gorgeous little chanteh, made by Sanjabi Kurds towards the latter part of the 19th century. The bag is woven in a technique known as extra weft wrapping which gives it a very strong and resilient feel. The back is woven in plain-weave with only some slight staining which I hope to have removed when it is washed.
Size: 23cm x 20cm (9" x 8").
£950

Antique Large Turkmen Storage Bagface, Ersary Tribes, ...

Item Number
BM/GD

This magnificent large storage bagface was made by Ersary tribes in the middle Amu Darya region of Turkmenistan, possibly close to the environs of Beshir, during the mid - third quarter of the 19th century. The glowing madder-red field contains a 'mina khani' design and the piece is in excellent condition.
Size: 1.78m x 1.04m (5' 10" x 3' 5").
POA

Antique Turkmen Wooden Spindles, Turkmenistan, Central Asia. ...

Item Number
BM/MO

A rare but interesting find these days are antique wooden spindles of the Turkmen tribes. These were recently found in Turkmenistan and date to the 19th century.
POA

Turkmen 'Tumar', Teke Tribes, Akhal Oasis, Turkmenistan, ...

Item Number
BM/AU

The Turkmen use the word 'tumar' to refer to a type of pectoral pendant or amulet and is based on the principle of the rhombus which consists of three parts - the upper part; the tumar proper with the symbolic mountain motif and vertical west-east orientation; a middle part consisting of a 'bozbend' tube with a horizontal west-east orientation and a lower part consisting of an inverted mountain motif from which silver, luminous world-spheres fall as pendants. The trichotomic world-picture recurs in all three parts.
In Soviet ethnography, tumar pectoral ornaments are regarded almost exclusively as amulets, an interpretation which can be attributed to Islamic influence and its interpretation of the tumar. I share the view with others that this is not the case and its true meaning should be sought in the ancient nomadic art of the Turco-Mongols.
This magnificent tumar dates to the mid-3rd quarter of the 19th century and is part-gilded on silver, carnelians in cabochon-cut and woollen cloth underlay coloured red and green.
Size: 30cm wide x 33cm deep including tassels. (12" x 13")
POA

Antique Saddlebag Face, Khamseh Confederacy Tribes, South-West ...

Item Number
BM1270

Just arrived, this visually attractive saddlebag face was made by Khamseh Confederacy nomads in Fars Province, south-west Persia during the last quarter of the 19th century. The glowing indigo-blue field contains a myriad of peacocks - male and female - together with just one single quadruped - possibly a dog.
Size: 66cm x 66cm (2' 2" x 2' 2").
£850

Antique Afshar Tribal Rug, Neiriz Region, Kerman ...

Item Number
BM/GD

I love the soft natural colours in this beautiful rug made by Afshar nomads in the Neiriz area of Kerman Province, southern Persia around 1900. The centre of the indigo-blue field depicts a massive flower-head with vases of flowers emanating from each end. The flower-heads then form the spandrels - disappearing out under the borders and into infinity. Small quadrupeds - possibly deer or gazelle can be seen around the central flower.
Size: 1.70m x 1.25m (5' 7" x 4' 1").
POA

Antique Kordi Tribal Bag-face, Quchan Region, Khorassan ...

Item Number
BM/JA2

Like the previous bag-face, this beautiful weaving was made by Kordi tribes in the Quchan region of north-east Persia circa 1900. The colours are beautifully vegetable and the soumak weave is fine and superbly executed. As mentioned in the previous description, I'm not convinced such pieces were made as 'balishts' (pillow-bags) as the weave is not condusive to laying one's head on! Therefore, I suspect they were dowry pieces, showing the prowess of the weaver as a desirable wife, and they might have been simply decorative to these nomads. Today, in the western world, they can also be decorative - used to cover a chest or table-top.
Size: 69cm x 36cm (2' 3" x 1' 2").
£750

Antique Bag-face (balisht), Kordi Tribes of Quchan, ...

Item Number
BM/JA1

The 'balisht' was made as a pillow-bag - usually with the softest, most lustrous woollen pile. However, I'm not convinced that these Kordi soumak-weave bag-faces were used for this purpose due to the coarse weave. I have never seen a Kordi 'balisht' like this with a back, which makes me wonder about their original use and not, I suspect, as a pillow-bag. Maybe they were dowry pieces - very finely and intricately woven, and possibly used as some sort of cover? Whatever they were, they are most attractive weavings and ideal for western use in decorating a chest or table-top.
Size: 87cm x 38cm (2' 10" x 1' 3").
£750

Antique Khamseh Confederacy Rug, Fars Province, South-West ...

Item Number
BM/Khamseh

This charming little rug was made by Arab nomads within the Khamseh Confederacy - a confederation of 5 tribes - in Fars Province, south-west Persia circa 1900. The rug is in excellent condition - full pile - with a glowing indigo-blue field and spandrels of madder-red. Within the spandrels are stylised peacocks - symbols of immortality and divine protection.
Size: 1.60m x 1.15m (5' 3" x 3' 9").
£1,450

Antique Turkmen Rug, Ersary Tribes, Middle Amu ...

Item Number
BM/Ersary

Here we see a most unusual rug of the Middle Amu Darya Ersary nomads comprising a compartmentalised design containing lozenges with a multitude of small shrubs. The natural colours are beautifully soft and the rug is in overall very good condition albeit with an evenly-low pile all over.
Size: 1.27m x 0.82m (4' 2" x 2' 8").
£1,450

Antique Baluch 'Ru-Zini' (saddle-cover), Salar Khani Sub-Tribe, ...

Item Number
BM1

Taken from my private collection and illustrated in my newly published 3rd edition 'Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent' page 128, this rare and finely knotted Salar Khani Baluch saddle-cover was made circa 1880-1890. It comprises an overall 'herati' pattern - stylised fish swimming in a water-garden - and has stylised quadrupeds - probably deer or gazelle - depicted throughout. In near-mint condition, the wool quality is superb, as you'd expect from the best of 19th century Baluch work, and as far as I'm aware, few like this exist.
Size: 1.22m x 0.66m (4' 0" x 2' 2").
POA

Antique Turkmen Engsi (yurt-door rug), Teke Tribes, ...

Item Number
BM1248

This magnificent Engsi - a rug used as a yurt-door hanging - was made by Teke Turkmen tribes in the Merv Oasis around 1850-1860. The rug has a beautiful colour palette - predominantly madder-red - a rare main border design and in excellent condition with very soft, velvety wool.
Size: 1.40m x 1.09m (4' 7" x 3' 7").
POA

Antique Zili (tent-hanging), Baku Region, Azerbaijan.

Item Number
DR1

Illustrated in the newly published 3rd edition of my book 'Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent' page 278, I sold this rare and beautiful Zili in 2006 and it has just come back to me. The madder-red and indigo-blue squares contain adult and baby peacocks or winged griffins, and was made in extremely fine balanced plain-weave with continuous and discontinuous wefts. A superb and highly collectable wall hanging, made in the Baku region of Azerbaijan around 1880. Such pieces are a rare find these days - most found in today's market are fragments.
Size: 1.90m x 1.30m (6' 3" x 4' 3").
POA

Antique Turkmen Asyk, Teke Tribes, Merv or ...

Item Number
MAC30

This magnificent Asyk measuring 28cm deep x 16cm at its widest point, was made by a Teke artisan during the last quarter of the 19th century using part-gilding on silver and carnelians in cabouchon-cut with one central carnelian in table-cut. The name implies how this ornament is attached to the plaits ('asyk' to hang up). The word 'asyk' also implies the transition from one age-group to the next i.e. the girl's attainment of married status, which is also connected with an expectation - the expectation regeneration and increase of the clan and tribe through the birth of children. The asyk is presented to the bride by the parents of the groom. The removal of the asyk after the birth of the first male child expresses the fulfilment of this expectation. Life emerges from darkness into the light of the sun and the motifs in the asyk confirm this interpretation.
POA

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

Item Number
BM/YB

Just in from Iran, a rare scissors-bag with a pair of old scissors made by Afshar nomads in Kerman Province, southern Persia circa 1900. Scissor-bags today are rare and the few available on the market, were made by Shahsevan nomads.
This bag is woven in soumak technique and is in excellent condition with original braided hanging cord.
Size: 36cm x 12cm (1' 2" x 5") excluding tassels.
SOLD

Antique Turkmen Bukcha (wedding mirror bag), Goklen ...

Item Number
BM/DD

This small, beautiful and rare Turkmen Bukcha was made by Goklen nomads in Turkmenistan during the early - mid 19th century. The 'bukcha' was made as a special pouch for containing the wedding mirror - a tradition that goes back centuries and known as 'the mirror of fortune' (a'ina-ye-bakht in Persian). Once the contractual ceremony has taken place, the bride's veil is drawn back and the couple are finally permitted to gaze at each other in the mirror. The symbolic representation in the bag is protection and fertility. The mirror should be the first object moved into the new wedding yurt. These fabulous bags are rarely seen as they were never intended for sale but highly-prized possessions within the nomadic family. The few that are seen are mainly Yomut - rarely Goklen! It is in near-mint condition.
25cm square (10" square).
SOLD

Antique Lesghi Rug, Lesghian Tribes, South-Western Caucasus. ...

Item Number
BM/DR4

This rug is amazing! Full pile and great overall condition for a rug made in Lesghi territory, south-western Caucasus around 1880-1890. The colours are fabulous - rich vegetable dyes predominate - and the glowing indigo-blue field containing 3 'Lesghi stars' outlined in madder-red and beautiful rich green. The main ivory border is powerful and symbolically frames and protects the inner Paradise. A truly magnificent, collectable rug.
Size: 1.83m x 1.22m (6' 0" x 4' 0").
SOLD