Antique Khorjin (saddle-bags), Bakhtiari Tribes, The Chahar ...

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Just acquired from a private collection, this beautiful, complete Bakhtiari khorjin (saddle-bags), woven in soumak technique in the Chahar Mahal region of western Persia at the end of the nineteenth century. This khorjin was originally sourced in Iran in the 1940s by a man who travelled into Bakhtiari territory buying rugs and bags from the nomads. The khorjin is in near-mint condition with its original ties and lappits and knotted-pile base at the bottom of each bag. The back is woven in plain-weave technique with narrow horizontal bands of reds and blues.
Size: 1.15m x 0.56m (3' 9" x 1' 10").

Antique Large Khorjin, Qashqa'i - Darrehshuri Tribe, ...

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I love this khorjin (saddle-bags) with its twill-weave which reminds me of my Scottish tartans!
Made by Darrehshuri- Qashqa'i nomads around 1900, the bags are complete and in near-perfect condition. Throughout the twill-weave, note the small knotted-pile tufts, inserted by the weaver to symbolise good-luck. The sides of both bags are braided using goat-hair for resilience.
This is an amazingly beautiful khorjin I have to say.
Size: 1.09m x 0.79m (3' 7" x 2' 7").

Antique Vanity-Bag, Afshar Tribes, Kerman Province. South ...

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Woven in soumak technique, this stunning little 'chanteh' (vanity-bag) was made by Afshar nomads around 1900. Bags like this were highly-prized possessions amongst the nomads - for their own use only and never intended for sale or commercialism.
The front face of this chanteh consists of various stylised birds and animals - at the very top, a stylised peacock symbolising divine immortality and prosperity. The back of the bag comprises horizontal panels containing symbols - very meaningful to the nomadic woman who made this bag but lost in the passage of time!
The bag is in excellent condition with original selvedges, bound in different colours.
Little bags of this high quality today, are extremely rare with most being in private collections. This chanteh has just come out of a private UK collection where it has been treasured for many years.
Size: 26cm 23cm (10" x 9").

Antique Saddlebag Face, Jaf Kurds, Kurdistan.

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Once part of double saddle-bags, this magnificent bag-face has the most fabulous array of saturated, vegetable colours, only found in the very best of type. Made by Jaf-Kurds in Kurdistan during the second half of the nineteenth century, the field consists of a myriad of 'double-headed sunbird' lozenges, all disappearing under the borders and out into infinity. The ivory main border has a beautifully-drawn 'flower' motif and the overall condition is very good.
Size: 82cm x 59cm (2' 8" x 2' 0").

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

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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").

Antique Pair of Mini Bags, Bakhtiari Nomads, ...

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A truly charming pair of mini saddle-bags made by Bakhtiari nomads around 1900-1910 in the region of the Chahar Mahal in western Persia. Unlike the lage saddle-bags ('khorjin' in Persian), these tiny bags were probably made for containing coins, even jewellery. Little bags like these are rare today and this pair have just come out of a private UK collection.
Size: 38cm x 20cm (1' 3" x 8").

Antique Salt-Bag, Luri Nomads, Luristan, Western Persia. ...

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Salt-Bags or namakdan in Persian, were specifically used for containing lumps of rock-salt which was given to the animals on long migrations to help in the dehydration process.
This charming namakdan was woven in overlay-underlay brocading on a balanced-weave ground on the face and narrow horizontal bands of plain-weave on the reverse. The base of the bag is strengthened with knotted-pile and the woollen warps have been braided at the top to create a handle for carrying the bag.
Woven by Luri nomads in Luristan, western Persia during the last quarter of the 19th century, this is a rare and collectable example of a disappearing woven art.
Size: 39cm x 37cm (1' 3" x 1' 2").

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

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'Chantehs' or vanity-bags were made specifically by nomadic women for their own use and never intended for commercial sale. Thus finding nineteenth and early twentieth century bags like this today in Iran, is becoming increasingly difficult. Woven utilitarian items have now nearly disappeared from tribal life as sadly, plastic bags replace these age-old beautiful weavings.
This charming little chanteh was woven circa 1900 by Darrehshuri nomads, part of the Qashqa'i Confederation, and depicts a checker-board pattern on one face and a field of tiny symbols on the other. The bag is complete with original selvedges and loop for hanging at the top corner.
Size: 23cm x 21cm (9" x 8").

Antique Storage Bag-Face, Afshar Nomads, Kerman Province, ...

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I was attracted to this highly unusual Afshar tribal bag-face because of the depiction of 'guls' throughout the central field. It brings to mind where the Afshar nomads originated - eastern Turkistan - before the mass migrations of these people into Persia from the 11th - 15th centuries and with the main bulk of this tribe, settling in Kerman province. The 'guls' therefore, have a strong Central Asian influence here - something linked to their Turkmen background in Turkmenistan. The bag-face is in relatively good condition with a few minor repairs, but it is a stunning and rare example from this tribe, made around 1880.
Size: 81cm x 56cm (2' 8" x 1' 10").

Antique Salt-Bag, Zaggar Mengal Tribe, Nushki, Chagai, ...

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Recently acquired in Baluchistan, this finely woven namakdan (salt-bag), was made by the Zaggar Mengal tribe in the Nushki area of Chagai Province in Baluchistan during the early 20th century.
Salt-bags, as the name implies, were used for containing rock-salt which was given to the pack animals during long, hot migrations to help in the dehydration process.
This handsome bag, woven in weft-faced plain-weave with pattern wefts floating on the reverse, is in excellent condition, complete with the remains of the tassels, which were attached for good luck.
Size: 55cm x 36cm (1' 10" x 1' 6").

Antique Vanity-Bag, Qashqa'i Nomads, Fars Province, South-West ...

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Extremely finely woven in a technique known as 'soumak' weave, this beautiful little vanity-bag ('chanteh' in Persian) must have been very special to its owner. Bags like this were used by women entirely and would have held jewellery, mirrors or coins.
Today, bags like this are no longer made and thus becoming very scarce within Iran and very collectible in the West amongst connoisseurs of small antique tribal weavings.
This chanteh was made by Qashqa'i nomads in the province of Fars in south-west Persia circa 1900 and note how the weaver has gathered the tassels in to make an attractive finish.
In excellent complete condition.
Size: 23cm x 23cm (9" x 9") excluding tassels.

Antique Salt-Bag, Afshar Nomads of the Sirjan ...

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This very handsome namakdan (salt-bag) made in weft-substitution technique, was made by Afshar nomads in the Sirjan region, Kerman Province, southern Persia during the last quarter of the nineteenth century.
The bag is in excellent condition, complete with braided tassels on either side of the neck and madder-red plain-weave back.
Size: 52cm x 54cm (1' 9" x 1' 8").