Antique Turkmen Engsi, Teke Tribes, Turkmenistan, Central ...

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The Engsi had a very important symbolic meaning to the Turkmen. Hung at the entrance to the Turkmen Oy (yurt), facing inwards, it represented the gateway to Paradise. Looking at it as you see it in the photo, the lower panel symbolised the sky-door leading to the central '4 gardens of Paradise'. Once in one of these gardens, the person leaving the earthly world, was spiritually secure. The pentagonal shape at the top is the 'kejebe' - a symbol representing power and fertility to the owner of the rug. This engsi was made by the Teke tribe around 1870-1880 and is in very good condition.
Size: 1.40m x 1.13m (4' 7" x 3' 9").

Antique Turkmen Rug, Teke Tribes, Akhal Oasis, ...

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Just arrived, an early Teke rug made with cochineal-dye wool, from the mid 19th century and originating from the Akhal Oasis in Turkmenistan.
The overall small 'gul' pattern in the central field is rare in rugs of the Teke nomads and more often found in their chuvals (bedding bags).
Note how the weaver started the border (base of rug) with the small 'gul' symbols but then changed her mind by knotting a different border pattern which then powerfully framed the field. The knotted 'elems' or skirts are beautifully drawn and although the overall condition of the pile is evenly low, it doesn't seem to detract from the rug when it's on the floor.
This a truly rare and fabulous example of early Teke work.
Size: 1.65m x 1.22m (5' 5" x 4' 0").

Antique Turkmen Chuval, Teke Tribes, Akhal Oasis, ...

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The madder-red field in this exceptionally fine Teke chuval (bedding-bag), can be compared to the most desirable reds in the weavings of the highly collectable Salor Turkmen. The chuval has highlights of cochineal-dye silk and was a very special piece when it was made. Although there is a small area of moth damage and the original selvedges are missing and the flat-woven back has long gone, the chuval still exudes power and intense beauty - a sign of the very highest quality work of the Teke weavers during the third quarter of the 19th century.
Size: 1.18m x 0.66m (3' 10" x 2' 2").

Antique Turkmen Chuval, Sariq Tribe, Turkmenistan, Central ...

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An attractive chuval (bedding-bag) made by Sariq Turkmen circa 1900-1920. The bag is missing its original flat-woven back and is now more suitable for floor use.

Antique Turkmen Mafrash, Ersary Tribes, Northern Afghanistan. ...

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A charming little mafrash (personal belongings bag) woven in brocade technique with plain-weave cotton back. Made during the early 20th century, the bag is in very good condition.
Size: 81cm x 36cm (2' 8" x 1' 2").

Antique Turkmen Chuval, Yomut Tribes, Trans-Caspian Steppes, ...

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Chuvals were made in pairs with flat-woven backs and were large bedding-bags for tying to the flanks of the camel during long migrations. This chuval has lost its flat-woven back - and its mate - but nevertheless a nice example made by Yomut Turkmen around 1900.
Size: 1.22m x 0.79m (4' 0" x 2' 7").

Antique Turkmen Rug, Teke Tribes, Turkmenistan, Central ...

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Here we have a nice decorative Teke Turkmen rug in very good condition, made circa 1900.
Size: 1.40m x 1.12m (4' 7" x 3' 8").

Antique Turkmen Wedding Rug, Goklen Tribe, Turkmenistan, ...

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A rare and beautiful wedding rug of the Goklen Turkmen made around 1870. The rug is in excellent condition and depicts a myriad of small 'dyrnak' guls throughout the central field and surrounded by a simple border often found on Goklen weavings. The natural-dye aubergine field has a beautiful palette and the 'elems' at each end have shades of golden yellow. A very collectable little rug made by the Goklen bride for her and future husband to stand on at the wedding ceremony and take their wedding vows.
Size: 1.50m x 1.04m (4' 11" x 3' 5").

Antique Turkmen Torba, Sariq Tribe, Yolatan Oasis, ...

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This beautifully-drawn torba was made by Sariq Turkmen around 1880 - 1890 using the overall field design of the so-called 'schemle' gul. The red colours are from madder and cochineal and the piece is in excellent condition bar two small exceptionally restored top corners where the missing cords would have pulled and torn the corners through heavy use.
Size: 1.22m x 0.38m (4' 0" x 1' 3").

Antique Turkmen Carpet, Teke Tribes, Turkmenistan, Central ...

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This very handsome Turkmen carpet was made in Turkmenistan by Teke tribes around 1890-1900.
The carpet is in very good overall condition other than some minor repairs needing to be done to secure the ends and overbinding on the selvedges. Very decorative.
Size: 3.66m x 2.30m (12' 0" x 7' 6").

Antique Turkmen Carpet, Teke Tribes, Akhal Oasis, ...

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The beautiful madder-red field in this attractive Teke Turkmen carpet contains 5 vertical columns of 10 Teke guls (heraldic crests). The centre of each of the main guls have alternate indigo-blue and cochineal and turquoise and cochineal. Particularly attractive are the elems (skirts) incorporating a tree pattern at each end and the depiction of horned creatures on each side of the main border, as seen in the close-up image. Made around 1900, the soft natural dyes produce a wonderful warm palette to enhance any room.
Size: 2.84m x 2.09m (9' 4" x 6' 10").

Turkmen Chuval, Sariq Tribes, Turkmenistan, Central Asia ...

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The Chuval in Turkmen vocabulary was the bedding bag for transporting personal belongings on the camels and pack animals. This Chuval has lost its flatwoven back but retains, in excellent condition, its beautiful finely knotted-pile face incorporating 9 Sariq Turkmen guls (crests). Made around the end of the 19th century, the red field is probably derived from cochineal (insect dye).
Size: 1.49m x 0.81m (4' 11" x 2' 8").


Antique Turkmen Jollar, Ersari Tribes, Region of ...

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The name 'Jollar' is the equivalent of an 'Asmalyk' or camel wedding trapping, made in pairs and hung on the flanks of the wedding camel carrying the bride to her wedding. This beautiful trapping contains 3 large 'Salor gols' - a tribe that once had close affiliations with the Ersari. In excellent condition bar a small re-weave in the top left-hand corner, this trapping is complete and made during the last quarter of the 19th century.
Size: 1.73m x 0.51m (5' 8" x 1' 8").

Turkmen Wedding Rug, Teke Tribes, Turkmenistan, Central ...

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This beautiful little wedding rug of the Teke Turkmen tribes was made around 1880.
Wedding rugs were highly-prized possessions and rarely sold by the family. It was made by the young bride for her and her future husband to stand on at the wedding ceremony and take their marriage vows. The high quality of the knotting showed her prowess as a weaver and desirability as a wife! This little rug is in very good overall condition with a few very minor areas of repair, expected in a rug of this age. Note the three vertical rows of Teke guls in the madder-red field and the rare minor guls. The 'elems' or skirts are also interesting, being of a different design each end.
Size: 1.10m x 1.01m (3' 7" x 3' 3").

Antique Tent Band, Yomut Turkmen, Trans-Caspian Steppes, ...

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This magnificent, complete tent-band (yolami) was woven and knotted by a Yomut Turkmen nomad during the last quarter of the 19th century, probably as part of her wedding dowry, thus the depiction of the wedding camel, horse and rider. The band measures approximately 44 feet (13.41 metres) in length and is incredibly fine in weave and knotting. Bands of this high quality were amongst their most highly-prized possessions and symbolised the eternal cycle of life.

Turkmen Dizlyk, Yomut Tribe, Trans-Caspian Steppes, Turkmenistan, ...

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'Dizlyk' were made in pairs and used to decorate the knobbly knees of the wedding camel during the wedding procession. This dizlyk has a beautiful colour palette of red, turquoise-blue, yellow, aubergine and ivory and was made by Yomut Turkmen circa 1870-1880. It is in original, complete condition with braided sides and hanging cords.
Size: 43cm x 38cm including tassels (1' 5" x 1' 3" including tassels.

Antique Turkmen Spindle-Bag (igsalyk), Yomut Tribes, Trans-Caspian ...

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The 'igsalyk' or spindle-bag was, as the name implies, used for containing spindles. This igsalyk was made by Yomut Turkmen around 1880 and is in complete condition with original plain-weave back. A most decorative wall-hanging!
Size: 27cm x 1.00m including tassels (10.5" x 3' 3" including tassels).

Antique Turkmen Carpet, Yomut Tribe, Trans-Caspian Steppes, ...

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This fabulous Yomut Turkmen carpet was made in the third quarter of the 19th century in the Middle Amu Darya region of Turkmenistan. The beautiful copper-red field contains superbly-drawn 'dyrnak' guls (tribal crests) which appear to disappear under the rare main border and out into infinity. Look at the 'elems' or skirts at each end of the carpet with their beautifully depicted trees. A superb example of the lost woven art of the Turkmen.
Size: 2.90m x 1.78m (9' 6" x 5' 10").

Antique Germech (engsi door panel), Ersary Turkmen ...

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The 'germech' was made as the panel to go underneath the engsi (door rug) at the entrance to the Turkmen yurt. Few germech are found complete these days - in actual fact, germech are rare.
This stunning germech was made by Ersary Turkmen nomads during the last quarter of the 19th century. What is amazing about this piece, is that it is absolutely complete with tasselled lower skirt and complete braided cords for tying the germech to the yurt struts. The inner field design is unusual as is the main border with its Turkmen 'tree' pattern - more akin to the designs of the Sariq Turkmen. In mint condition, this is a truly wonderful piece of nomadic art!
1.20m x 0.50m (4' 0" x 1' 8").

Antique Turkmen Asmalyk, Yomut Turkmen, Trans-Caspian Steppes, ...

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This fabulous Asmalyk was made by Yomut Turkmen around 1890-1900 and are in mint condition.
The Asmalyk - a pentagonal-shaped trapping - symbolised power and fertility and they were hung on the bridal camel as the bride rode to her wedding ceremony. They were then presented to her future husband as part of her dowry and he would then hang them inside the wedding yurt for the rest of their married life together. As a symbol of fertility, the hope was for many children - boys to protect the family unit and girls to look after the men and weave lots of beautiful carpets!!!
Size: 1.10m x 0.92 (3' 7" x 3' 0") including tassels.

Antique Turkmen Chuval (bedding-bag), Sariq Tribe, Yolatan ...

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Another recent arrival is this beautiful Turkmen bedding bag-face, made by Sariq nomads during the middle 19th century. The 'elem' (lower skirt) depicts what looks like dancing ladies - also seen in the upper panel - on a beautiful glowing madder-red ground. The Sariq 'guls' (tribal crests) can be seen in the central field, highlighted in cochineal-red.
Size: 1.32m x 0.90m (4' 4" x 3' 0").

Antique Torba, Igdyr Turkmen Tribe, Turkmenistan, Central ...

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This handsome little torba (small personal belongings bag) comprises three 'trees' in the central ivory field - symbolising eternal life in Paradise and the 3-level universe, where the roots of the tree are in the under-world; the trunk in the earthly world and the branches in the world of the spirit. Made by the Igdyr Turkmen around the middle of the 19th century, torbas from this group are a relatively rare find today. The Igdyrs are listed amongst the Oguz as early as the 11th century and inhabited the Khorezm Oasis with a proportion of the tribe living in the northern Caspian region. This torba is complete with its plain-weave back, woven in undyed sheep's wool.
84cm x 38cm (2' 9" x 1' 3").

Antique Turkmen Torba, Salor Tribe, Turkmenistan, Central ...

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This beautiful torba was made by Salor Turkmen in Turkmenistan circa 1880 with the use of cochineal-dye wool.
The Salor were once the most powerful, noble and aristocratic Turkmen tribe up until the early 19th century when they were heavily defeated in battle with the ruling Persian Qajars and from this they did not recover. Later on, they were badly defeated again by the Teke and Sariq Turkmen and they moved away from what had been their homeland and eventually settling in the Sarakhs Oasis - a sad end to a most noble tribe. Today, carpets, rugs and trappings which were made by the Salor are highly collectable and rare to acquire.
Size: 1.07m x 0.26m (3' 6" x 10").

Antique Turkmen Mixed-Technique Torba, Teke Tribes, Turkmenistan, ...

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Just in, this very rare face of what once was a small storage bag (torba), was woven in mixed-technique i.e. horizontal bands of knotted pile and plain-weave, by Teke Turkmen nomads, probably in the early to mid 19th century.
More common in this mixed technique are chuvals (large storage bags), but it is extremely rare to find a torba - sadly without its back, but showing the remains of its original plain-weave top sewn over and original selvedges. This is a very important and collectable item of which very few are published.
Size: 79cm x 31cm (2' 7" x 1' 0").