Antique Kurdish Bag-Face, Jaf Tribes, Kurdistan.

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Just magnificent! The range of colours and juxtaposition of design is superb. Bag-faces like this one turn up from time to time - some are fairly ordinary - a very few like this one, are outstanding! Made by Kurdish Jaf nomads in the second half 19th century, this was either one large storage bag - missing its back - or one half of a very large saddle-bag. The remains of the lappits can be seen at the top of the bag - slightly ragged but nevertheless, complete.
The overall lozenge effect are in fact symbolic 'birds-heads' - guardians of the gates of Paradise - and they can be seen disappearing under the borders and out into infinity. Therefore, the field of this bag is only a small part of that infinity which has been captured and protected by the borders that encircle it.
Size: 1.04m x 0.90m (3' 5" x 3' 0").

Antique Pair of Afshar Tribal Saddle-Bags, Kerman ...

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A magnificent pair of saddlebags made by Afshar nomads in southern Persia during the last quarter of the 19th century. The bags, which were cut in half at some point in the past and used as cushions, are in excellent condition albeit the plain-weave back of one of the bags has a hole - easily repairable. The price quoted below is for the pair.
Size of each bag:- 84cm x 64cm (2' 9" x 2' 1").

Antique Chuval (bedding-bag), Qashqai Nomads, Fars Province, ...

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Recently acquired from Iran, this rare and beautifully woven bedding-bag (chuval) is in very good condition and is complete with ties, if not slightly worn through use! The bag is complete with original plain-weave back in horizontal bands of different colours. The Qashqa'i weaver who made this bag was a very accomplished weaver as can be seen in the intricacy of the soumak technique used in the front face. Bags of this age (19th century) are rare amongst the nomads today. Display it by filling the bag with a large pillow; tie the loops together and then sit on your favourite rug or carpet and lounge against the chuval whilst reading a good book!!
Size: 1.15m x 0.68m (3' 9" x 2' 3").

Antique Salt-Bag, Sanjabi Kurds, Kurdistan.

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This magnificent namakdan (salt-bag) has been in my personal collection for many years and sadly, it is time for it to be passed into the hands of someone who will treasure it like I have.
It is one of the largest salt-bags I've encountered in my many years of dealing and collecting and certainly one of the most majestic bags I've come across. Woven in complimentary weft-weave on the front, it is important to look at the back and observe the fantastic chevron pattern in beautiful shades of vegetable colours. I wonder what the weaver was thinking when she inserted these chevrons? Could they symbolically represent flowing water? Quite possibly, as salt and water were vital in the everyday lives of these Sanjabi Kurd nomads.
The bag is in near-mint condition with its original tassels symbolising 'good luck' and 'good fortune' and its original long, braided handle for transporting the bag.
Illustrated in my third edition 'Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent' on page 239, this bag was made during the early part of the 20th century.
Size: 77cm x 38cm (2' 6" x 1' 3").

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

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This is a magnificent spindle bag, woven in soumak technique and in near-mint condition.
Made by Afshar nomads in Kerman Province, southern Persia during the latter part of the nineteenth century, the design is visually stunning. The weaver of this bag was certainly at the peak of her profession and I would say this must have been a dowry bag and a very highly prized possession to her and her family.
Size: 49cm x 31cm (1' 7" x 1' 0") excluding tassels.

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

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Three 'Trees-of-Life' in knotted-pile, dominate the madder-red plain-weave ground of this interesting bag, possibly made for containing spindles or water-pipes. The fact that the trees are in pile gives them a three-dimensional effect which is quite stunning.
Made by Qashqa'i nomads around 1900 in south-western Persia, the bag is complete with plain-weave back in horizontal bands of colour.
Size: 45cm x 39cm (1' 6" x 1' 3").

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

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In a way, I'm sad to part with this fabulous namakdan (salt-bag) which has hung on my wall at home for many, many years. But, it is time for it to go to a new home - at least one that will appreciate the rarity and symbolic beauty of the piece.
The thing that has always fascinated me about this wonderful bag, apart from the brilliant natural sky-blue and the depiction of symbolic 'eyes' on the madder-red ground, is the use of white cotton warps on the left side of the bag and un-dyed sheep wool on the right side! Why the weaver did this I cannot fathom out, other than she used what she had at her disposal?
The bag is in near-mint condition with plain-weave back, which has a charming horizontal band of chevrons across the top and into the neck.
This is an opportunity to acquire a rare and fabulous salt-bag which was made circa 1900-1920.
Size: 58cm x 53cm (1' 11" x 1' 9").

Antique Mini Saddle-bags 'khorjin', Qashqa'i Nomads, Fars ...

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This pair of mini-saddle-bags - 'khorjin' in Persian - are charming in every way. The weave is intricate warp-float technique and each panel or pouch contains an 'eye' for warding off evil in knotted pile. The bags, which are in mint condition, were made by Qashqa'i Darrehshuri nomads circa 1900 and are illustrated in my book 'Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent' page 184.
Size: 56cm x 35cm (1' 10" x 1' 2").

Antique Saddle-Bags, Qashqa'i - Darrehshuri Nomads, Fars ...

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Intricate brocade work with tufts of woollen knots dominate this rather special 'khorjin' (saddle-bags), made by the Darrehshuri taifeh of the Qashqa'i Confederation circa 1900.
The bags are in excellent condition with original mustard-yellow plain-weave back. All colours are natural, including the orange in the central field - a typical favourite colour often seen in Qashqa'i weavings.
Size: 1.30m x 0.63m (4' 3" x 2' 1")

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 Mini Saddle-Bags, Afshar Nomads, Kerman Province, ...

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This beautiful pair of mini saddle-bags were made by Afshar nomads in Kerman Province, southern Persia circa 1900 and are in near-mint condition. Woven in flat-weave technique with superb, saturated vegetable colours, you need to look at the amazing back just to see how highly the weaver considered these bags to be when she was making them. Bags like this are rare today with very few now existing amongst the nomads themselves.
Size: 67cm x 30cm (2' 2" x 1' 0").

Antique Qashqa'i Saddle-Bags, Darrehshuri Taifeh, Fars Province, ...

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It's the back I love most!
Three horizontal rows of combs on each panel symbolising cleanliness, depicted on the back of this warp-faced pair of saddle-bags - 'khorjin' in Persian. The front, with a multitude of flower-head symbols and extremely finely woven by Darrehshuri Qashqa'i nomads around the beginning of the 20th century.
Size: 92cm x 51cm (3' 0" x 1' 8").