Antique Baluch Chanteh (Vanity-Bag), Mahdad Khani Nomads, ...

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Double-sided knotted pile vanity-bags (chanteh) are rare. This one was found in Mashad, north-eastern Iran in 2001 and dates to the early 20th century. It was made, I suspect, by Mahdad Khani Baluch nomads and is in excellent condition.
Size: 36cm x 34cm (1' 2" x 1' 1").

Antique Salt-Bag, Baluch Sanjrani Nomads, Chagai, Baluchistan. ...

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Made by the Sanjrani Baluch nomads in Dalbandin, Chagai region of Baluchistan circa 1900-1920, this salt-bag is in complete, original condition and retains its long braided tassels - symbolising good luck - and the tassels also contain cowrie shells.
Size: 61cm (2') including tassels x 27cm (11").

Antique Saddle-Bags, Afshar Nomads, Southern Persia.

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These saddle-bags or 'khorjin' in Persian, were made by Afshar nomads in Kerman Province, southern Persia around 1880, and are in very good condition with original plain-weave back. The knotted-pile faces were made with good lustrous wool from the mountain sheep and leather binding has been over-sewn at each end of the bridge resiliance. They have been well-used as can be seen by the back, yet remain attractive and collectable bags of which few complete saddle-bags from this 19th century period have survived.
Size: 1.30m x 0.65m (4' 3" x 2' 2").

Antique Khorjin (mini saddle-bags), Afshar Nomads of ...

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This gorgeous pair of mini saddle-bags ('khorjin' in Persian), was made by Afshar nomads in Aqta'e, Kerman Province circa 1900-1920 and depicts roses in each of the bag-faces and roses in the ivory border. The rose originated in Persia before being grown in France and the UK. The use of a pea-green colour in the central field of each bag-face is unusual and I love the 'bridge' with its symbolic flowing water - important of course, in order to keep the roses alive! This khorjin is in near-mint condition with its original madder-red plain-weave back.
Refer to Parviz Tanavoli's newly published book 'Khorjins - Tribal and Rural Weaves from Iran' to see an almost identical example on pages 80-81.
Size: 87cm x 34cm (2' 10" x 1' 1").

Antique Salt-Bag, Azeri Tribes, Azerbaijan.

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The madder-red central field of this rare salt-bag, contains 6 'birds-heads' symbols - guardians of the gates of Paradise. The bag, woven in soumak technique by Azeri nomads during the last quarter of the 19th century, is complete with plain-weave back in narrow horizontal bands of natural colours.
Size: tbc

Pair of Antique Afshar Tribal Saddlebags, Kerman ...

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Just in, 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.
Size of each bag:- 84cm x 64cm (2' 9" x 2' 1").

Antique Salt-Bag (namakdan), Zaggar Mangal Nomads of ...

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This fabulous and unique salt-bag - 'namakdan' in Persian - was made by Zaggar Mangal nomads in the environs of south-eastern Persia bordering Baluchistan. Tightly woven on the front in weft-float brocade, the back is in simple plainweave. The sides are over-bound in goat-hair with a long goat-hair handle at the top for transportation. I love the intricate detail on the sides and base of the bag, particularly the brocade, coloured beads and white buttons - all symbolising good luck and protection. This bag must have been highly-prized bearing in mind the superb weaving - a woman who has skilfully put all her love and attention to detail into a bag for containing rock-salt and probably made for her husband or future husband - part of her dowry!
Size: 71cm x 41cm (2' 4" x 1' 4").

Antique Saddle-Bagface, Qashqa'i Nomads, Fars Province, South-West ...

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A little the worse for wear but utterly charming, this once face of complete saddle-bags has a glorious indigo-blue field with ivory lozenge in the centre incorporating the Qashqa'i symbolic 'scorpion' design. Within the indigo-blue field can be seen small stylised quadrupeds.

Malband (animal band), Bakhtiari Nomads, Western Persia. ...

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The 'malband' was the equivalent of a western rope - used for tying the bedding onto the camels and pack animals during long migrations. Bands like this one, which was made by the Bakhtiari nomads, were intricately woven - quite incredible work for such a utilitarian item - but often they were prized possessions.
Size: 8.70m x 7cm (28.5' x 3").

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

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Vanity-bags - 'chanteh' in Persian - like this one, are now becoming harder to find. Such bags were utilitarian and often made as dowry pieces. Bags of this age, made around 1900, are scarce.
The bag is complete with knotted-pile face, original plain-weave back and long braided tassels.
Size: 30cm x 72cm (1' 0" x 2' 4") including tassels.

Antique Vanity-Bag, Baluch Nomads of Sistan, South-East ...

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This charming double-sided knotted-pile vanity-bag is complete with original tassels - bound on for good luck. The bag was made by Baluch nomads in the Sistan region of south-eastern Persia around 1890-1900. The bag is in good overall condition bar a small area of re-piling due to moth damage in the past.
Size: 36cm x 38cm (1' 2" x 1' 3").

Antique Salt-Bag, Kordi Tribes of Quchan, Khorassan, ...

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Woven by Kordi nomads in the environs of Quchan in Khorassan province, north-east Persia during the early 20th century, this superbly made flat-woven salt-bag (namakdan) is in near mint condition. All the colours are natural and the sides are beautifully brocaded. I like the simplistic ivory plain-weave back with its stylised tree or shrub design.
51cm x 36cm (1' 8" x 1' 2").

Antique Pillow-Bag, Baluch Tribes of Firdows, South-East ...

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Beautiful, bright, vegetable colours glow in this charming pillow-bag (balisht in Persian), made by Baluch nomads in the region of Firdows around 1900. The bag would have been stuffed with cotton and used as a pillow or for simply lounging on inside the tent. In excellent condition with full, lustrous pile, the bag retains its original plain-weave back.
Size: 81cm x 50cm (2' 8" x 1' 8").

Antique Saddle-Bags, Afshar Tribes, Kerman Province, Southern ...

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These magnificent 'khorjin' (saddle-bags) were made by Afshar tribes in Kerman Province, southern Persia around 1900. The depiction of birds sitting on either side of an urn is generally found in the rugs of the Afshar but very unusual in a pair of saddle-bags. The ivory border is beautifully drawn and other than some minor damage to the corners of each bag, due to wear, these bags are complete and in excellent condition.
Size: 1.35m x 0.76m (4' 5" x 2' 6").

Antique Shears-Bag, Afshar Tribes, Southern Persia

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Bags for containing large shears for shearing the long-haired, fat-tailed sheep, are rare. These large shears bags are much larger than the similar-shaped scissors-bags. This is a superb example of soumack work made by an Afshar weaver during the second half of the 19th century. The design on the front of the bag is more or less repeated on the other side where a small tear can be seen - probably a cut from the shears - which has been secured with weft-webbing. Beautiful natural colours and a very collectable bag.
Size: 58cm x 15cm (1' 11" x 6").

Antique Mini Saddlebags, Bakhtiari Nomads, Western Persia. ...

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This charming pair of mini saddlebags ('khorjin' in Persian) was made by Bakhtiari nomads in the Chahar Mahal region of western Persia circa 1900. The two faces are in knotted pile and the back is woven in narrow, horizontal, coloured bands of plain-weave. The bags are complete and in excellent condition.
Size: 56cm x 28cm (1' 10" x 11").

Antique Mafrash (bedding bag), Shahsevan Nomads, Azerbaijan. ...

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Here we see a rare knotted-pile 'mafrash' (bedding bag) made by Shahsevan nomads in Azerbaijan during the early 20th century. The mafrash is in excellent condition with original plain-weave base.
Size: 1.07m x 0.51m x 0.48m (3' 6" x 1' 8" x 1' 7").

Antique Scissors-Bag, Timuri - Sangtschuli Nomads, Western ...

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Scissor-bags are rare. The majority found were made by Shahsevan tribes. Timuri and Baluch scissor-bags are even more scarce! This one was made by Timuri nomads, quite possibly the Sangtschuli sub-tribe, not later than the 1920s. It is in mint condition and the sides are over-bound in goat-hair.
Size: 45cm x 9cm (1' 6" x 3.5").

Antique Salt-Bag, Mushwanni Tribe, Western Afghanistan.

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Salt-bags which are piled on both faces are rare. This fine salt-bag, made by Mushwanni nomads in western Afghanistan during the last quarter of the 19th century, is in excellent condition, piled on both sides and with original tassels.
Size: tba

Antique Bag-Face, Shahsevan Tribes, Moghan, Azerbaijan.

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Finely woven in sumakh technique, this bagface was made by Shahsevan tribes in the Moghan region of Azerbaijan during the 1st half 19th century. Originally one half of a double saddle-bag, this beautiful face-panel is all that now remains.
Size: 53cm x 53cm (1' 9" x 1' 9").

Antique Half Saddlebag Face, Timuri Tribes, Western ...

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Beautiful vegetable colours abound in this half saddlebag face - once part of a large double bag. The indigo-blue inner field glows with fine, lustrous wool and the ivory outer border with its depiction of stylised plants, frames the field powerfully. Within the central madder-red square, zoomorphic horned creatures are depicted and the four ivory '8-pointed stars' in the blue field link up with the single ivory '8-pointed star' in the centre of the bag, symbolising the magic number '5' - protection. The brown colour in the central red square has corroded due to the wool having been mordanted over 100 years ago and thus corroding or eating away at the wool. This is a superb example of mid 19th century Timuri weaving.
Size: 83cm x 66cm (2' 9" x 2' 2").

Antique Half Saddle-Bag, Kordi Nomads, Quchan Region, ...

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Here we see the remaining half of what was once a complete double bag or saddle-bags. Extremely finely woven in soumak technique, the weaver was at the top of her profession in order to create something of this amazing quality.
Size: 33cm x 30cm (13" x 12").

Rare Antique Salt-Bag (namakdan), Afshar Nomads, Kerman ...

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This fabulous salt-bag is one of the earliest of Afshar work. Woven on the face in intricate weft-float brocade, the colour palette is subtle and beautiful. Shades of blue, red, green and yellow dominate the field. The back is woven in simple madder-red plain-weave with one narrow band of weft-float brocade running horizontally.
This is a very important salt-bag as well as being highly collectable.
Size: 46cm x 56cm (1' 6" x 1' 10").

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

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A very charming little vanity-bag (chanteh) made by Qashqa'i - Darrehshuri nomads during the 19th century. The plain-weave design reminds me of tartan with the tiny knots inserted for good luck. There are a few old repairs on the back - done in the field by the nomads themselves.
Size: 28cm x 30cm (11" x 12").