Antique Kurdish Bag-Face, Jaf Tribes, Kurdistan.

Item Ref
LPN1

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").
£1,850
| $2,463 USD | €2,096 EUR

Antique Half Saddle-Bag, Kurdish - Jaf Tribes, ...

Item Ref
BM8

This fabulous half saddle-bag has to be handled to be fully appreciated as the wool is just the best one can hope to see and feel in a nineteenth century weaving. Thick, lustrous, silky pile are just a few of the words to describe the wool and, of course, all the amazing colours are from natural dye-plants. The overall design of concentric 'birds-heads' lozenges is popular with the Jaf - Kurds but the quality of the wool is just fantastic - no other words to describe it!
The plain-weave back with brocaded panels remains virtually intact, apart from a small part missing at the very top. Highly collectible.
Size: 78cm x 95cm (2' 7" x 3' 1").
£1,850
| $2,463 USD | €2,096 EUR

Antique Balisht (pillow-bag), Timuri Yaqoub Khani Tribe, ...

Item Ref
BM/PC11

This beautiful, complete 'balisht' - pillow-bag - is extremely finely knotted with a natural camel-hair field incorporating a stylised 'tree-of-life'. The bag, made circa 1880, is complete with terracotta plain-weave back and is in near mint-condition.
Complete bags like this are rare today with many having lost their backs through wear or simply, unscrupulous dealers cutting the backs off to make small, saleable rugs!
This balisht has been stuffed and is ready for sale either with stuffing or without.
Size: 91cm x 43cm (3' 0" x 1' 5").
£1,450
| $1,931 USD | €1,643 EUR

Antique Balisht (pillow-bag), Baluch Tribes, Khorassan, North-East ...

Item Ref
BM/PC12

The 'balisht' or pillow-bag had to be finely knotted using the very best mountain-sheep wool bearing in mind that one's head had to be comfortable when sleeping, or even lounging in the tent. Balishts are often mistaken these days for grain-bags but the difference in quality was enormous! The grain bag, in the main, was very much coarser than the exceptionally finely knotted pillow-bags, as they were intended for hard use. This superb quality balisht, in mint condition, was made by Khorassan Baluch nomads around 1900. Very few balishts remain in complete condition with plain-weave backs these days - most had the backs cut-off by unscrupulous dealers who saw more money in a small rug than in a bag!
Size: 89cm x 39cm (2' 11" x 1' 4").
£1,250
| $1,664 USD | €1,416 EUR

Antique Salt-Bag, Bakhtiari Nomads, The Chahar Mahal ...

Item Ref
BM4

This fabulous salt-bag ('namakdan' in Persian) was woven by Bakhtiari nomads in the Chahar Mahal region of western Persia circa 1900.
The bag is intricately woven in soumak technique on the front and in plain-weave on the back but, incorporating an ivory panel of stylised birds - amazing! The base of the bag is in knotted-pile to give resilience during hard use and the weaver has sewn-in at the top of the bag, a piece of circular red-felt containing 7 white buttons around one blue button - symbolically representing protection and good luck.
This bag goes to prove the incredible weaving done by these nomadic women, just for something utilitarian to contain rock-salt! Bags like this were probably dowry pieces and were highly prized among the nomads to the point that they were never intended to sell.
Size: 64cm x 46cm (2' 1" x 1' 6").
£1,250
| $1,664 USD | €1,416 EUR

Antique Salt-Bag, Bakhtiari Nomads, The Chahar Mahal, ...

Item Ref
BM23

This magnificent salt-bag ('namakdan' in Persian, where 'namak' means salt and 'dan' is bag) was made by Bakhtiari nomads in the region of the Chahar Mahal in western Persia around the last quarter of the 19th century. The face of this bag has been knotted in lustrous woollen pile, the back in narrow horizontal bands of natural colour and the sides overbound with goat-hair.
In excellent condition, this is a very collectible namakdan.
Size: 51cm x 44cm (1' 8" x 1' 5").
£1,250
| $1,664 USD | €1,416 EUR

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

Item Ref
BM16

I guess the main photo I have chosen is the back of this charming storage-bag, but I couldn't resist featuring this side of the bag as it is so visually exciting. The front of the bag is superb in its own right - fine soumak-weave creating horizontal bands of beautiful vegetable colours. Woven by Qashqa'i nomads around the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the bag is in excellent condition.
Size: 70cm x 64cm (2' 4" x 2' 1").
£1,250
| $1,664 USD | €1,416 EUR

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

Item Ref
BM/AH1

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").
£1,250
| $1,664 USD | €1,416 EUR

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

Item Ref
BM/LPN2

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").
£1,250
| $1,664 USD | €1,416 EUR

Antique Camel Decoration, Shahsevan Tribes of Varamin, ...

Item Ref
BM2

This beautiful camel neck decoration is finely knotted with the depiction of eight '8-pointed stars' - symbols of protection. The fact that there are eight stars means protection is doubled!
This special trapping was made by Shahsevan nomads in the Varamin region of north-west Persia around 1900 with all colours from natural dye-plants and it is complete with long tassels at each end - inserted to keep away flys when on the move.
Size: 84cm x 20cm (2' 9" x 8") excluding tassels.
£1,250
| $1,664 USD | €1,416 EUR

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

Item Ref
BM/RA

This beautiful salt-bag - 'namakdan' in Persian - has been preserved in a dowry bag in Iran for many years and is in near-pristine condition - probably never used! It must have been very precious to the young Afshar girl who made it for her wedding to the point she just tucked it away and looked after it. It's very hard, therefore, to put an exact date on it so the information I received from a reliable source, was early 20th century. Nevertheless, the colours are all natural and the soumak weave is outstanding. I love the use of the deer or gazelle in the field, surrounded by that stunning typically Afshar diagonal border in different colours. The back of the bag is the same as the front - only that the animals are upsides-down.
Size: 63cm x 40cm (2' 1" x 1' 4").
£1,250
| $1,664 USD | €1,416 EUR

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

Item Ref
RPD5

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").
£950
| $1,265 USD | €1,076 EUR