Antique Pair of Storage-Bags, Kordi Tribes, Quchan ...

Item Ref
BM343/344

Over the years, I have seen high-quality soumak weaving by the Kordi tribes of the Quchan area of north-east Persia, but the work in this pair of storage-bags has to be the very best I've come across. Acquired recently from a private collection, these bags which might have been woven around 1900-1920 are just incredible! They are both in near-mint condition, complete with original plain-weave backs which have horizontal bands of soumak weave, and a wonderful array of natural colours throughout. They really have to be seen to be fully appreciated, which, of course, is generally the case with all rugs and bags of high quality.
I have bought them as a pair and therefore, they should remain together.
Size: 94cm x 78cm (3' 1" x 2' 7") and 99cm x 74cm (3' 3" x 2' 5").
£3,300
| $4,493 USD | €3,673 EUR

Antique Storage Bag-Face, Baluch Tribes, Khorassan, North-East ...

Item Ref
BM1536

This is one of the very best Baluch 'cockerel' bag-faces I've handled for many years.
This is a superb example of the very best of the highly-collectible so-called 'bird bags', made by Baluch nomads in the Khorassan region of north-east Persia circa 1870. The wool is soft and lustrous - a sign of the very best of Baluch weaving - and the bag-face is in near mint condition, albeit, without its back, lost many years ago. The deep indigo-blue ground contains a myriad of cockerels symbolising the harbinger of the day, the dispeller of the night. I suspect the dark birds are females and the two ivory birds are males, symbolising the creation of life.
Note also, the 'diamond' type symbols, top left and right corners of the field, highlighted in ivory - their symbolic meaning lost in the passage of time.
Size: 70cm x 76cm (2' 3" x 2' 6").
£2,500
| $3,404 USD | €2,783 EUR

Balisht or Storage-Bag, Afshar Nomads, Kerman Province, ...

Item Ref
BM1549

Pillow-bags or 'balisht' in Persian were, as the name implies, used for lounging on in the black-tent or for placing one's head on at night as a pillow. They were usually stuffed with cotton and tied at one end. This very rare bag, made circa 1870, was I suspect, a balisht because of its size. However, I have never seen such a bag made by Afshar nomads in the Jabel Barez mountains of Kerman Province of southern Persia! Most balishts were made by Baluch tribes on the borderlands of east Persia and west Afghanistan. So what we have here is something very rare, special and highly collectible. It is in evenly-low pile all over with a few minor expertly done re-weaves in the lower corners, but otherwise complete with original back. The beautiful saturated colours in shades of red, sky-blue, ivory, green and burnt-orange can be seen in the vertical bands of small stylised flowers.
Size: 70 x 43cm (2' 3" x 1' 5").
£1,750
| $2,383 USD | €1,948 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
| $1,702 USD | €1,391 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
| $1,702 USD | €1,391 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
| $1,702 USD | €1,391 EUR

Antique Saddle-Bags, Timuri Tribes, Borderlands of Eastern ...

Item Ref
BM25

A beautiful pair of complete 'khorjin' (saddle-bags) made by Timuri nomads on the borderlands of eastern Persia and western Afghanistan during the last quarter of the 19th century.
The pile on both faces is in very good condition with a little minor wear and the back is complete in plain-weave.
Size: 1.30m x 0.62m (4' 3" x 2' 0").
£1,250
| $1,702 USD | €1,391 EUR

Antique Kurdish Storage-Bag Face, Jaf Tribes, Kurdistan. ...

Item Ref
BM11

This handsome small bag-face was once part of a complete saddle-bag and with constant hard use in unforgiving tribal conditions, the rest of the bag was probably damaged and discarded. This, therefore is all that remains of what must have been a gorgeous pair of bags. The vegetable colours are superb and the wool is soft and lustrous - as good as can be found in the weavings of the Kurdish Jaf tribes. Made during the third quarter of the nineteenth century, the design of concentric 'birds-heads' lozenges is typical of this particular tribe.
Size: 71cm x 50cm (2' 4" x 1' 8").
£950
| $1,293 USD | €1,057 EUR

Antique Salt-Bag, Azeri Nomads, Azerbaijan.

Item Ref
BM18

I love the powerful 'birds-heads' lozenge in the centre of this simple but majestic salt-bag - made by Azeri tribes in Azerbaijan around 1900. Salt-bags or 'namakdan' in Persian, were, as the name implies, used for containing rock-salt which was given to the animals during migrations to help in the dehydration process. Often nuts were kept in these bags such as pistachio and almonds.
The face of this bag is in knotted-pile - the back with horizontal bands of different colours - and it is in complete, original condition.
Size: 63cm x 44cm (2' 1" x 1' 5").
£950
| $1,293 USD | €1,057 EUR

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

Item Ref
LPN9

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").
£950
| $1,293 USD | €1,057 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
| $1,293 USD | €1,057 EUR

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

Item Ref
RUGMAC 49

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").
£950
| $1,293 USD | €1,057 EUR