Antique Kurdish Bag-Face, Jaf Tribes, Kurdistan.

Item Ref
BM/LPN5

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").
POA
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Antique Bread Sofreh, Kamo, Central Persia.

Item Ref
BM/LPN4

Bread 'sofrehs' - flat-weaves - were specifically woven in a square format in order to knead the dough to make the wonderful flat-bread. I went in search of the best pieces in the 1990s and when I found them, they were literally caked in flour, with colour and design lost! I remember having them professionally washed in Iran and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the outcome! Amazing minimalistic designs and beautiful natural colours emanated.
This sofreh was one of many I acquired back then and it has just come back to me after all this time. Woven in the village of Kamo in central Iran, it remains in great overall condition. Sofrehs like this today, are scarce, and it is wonderful to welcome it back and to be able to pass it on to the next passionate collector. As a wall-hanging, sofrehs like this, provide 'woven art'.
SIze: 1.10m x 1.02m (3' 7" x 3' 4").
POA
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Antique Vanity-Bag, Qashqa'i - Kashkuli Nomads, Fars ...

Item Ref
BM/PC2

I have no hesitation in saying that this is one of the very best chantehs (vanity-bags) I've had the pleasure of owning for many years. The face of the bag, with its design of vertical bands of tiny stylised 'botehs', is extremely finely knotted. The use of fabulous wool and a beautiful range of natural dyes, makes this bag highly collectable. Made by the finest weavers amongst the Qashqa'i confederation - the Kashkuli - at the end of the nineteenth century, the bag is complete with a plain-weave back in horizontal bands of various colours. It is no wonder that it is believed that some of the finest weaving went into small dowry bags like this one! The weaver was at the height of her profession when she made this and it was undoubtedly a highly-prized bag.
This bag is illustrated in my most recent edition of 'Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent' page 181.
Size: 32cm x 29cm (13" x 11").
POA
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Antique Baluch Tribal Rug, Khorassan Province, North-East ...

Item Ref
BM/SB1

This handsome Baluch rug is unusual in having a field of vertical minor borders surrounded by a powerful madder-red border. The rug is in excellent condition and is complete with long plain-weave and brocaded skirts each end.
Size: 1.73m x 0.86m (5' 8" x 2' 10").
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Antique Spindle-Bag, Afshar Nomads, Kerman Province, South ...

Item Ref
BM/LPN3

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.
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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").
POA
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Antique Turkmen Rug, Ersary Nomads, Beshir Region ...

Item Ref
BM/Ersary

Just arrived, this stunning and beautiful early Ersary Turkmen rug has a strong 'ikat' inspired design - rare in small rugs like this. The saturated natural colours are superb and the rug is in excellent pile all over. Made in the region of Beshir in the Middle Amu Darya basin around the middle of the 19th century, this is a highly collectable rug.
Size: 1.60m x 1.00m (5' 3" x 3' 3").
POA
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Antique Turkmen Engsi, Teke Tribes, Merv Oasis, ...

Item Ref
BM/SB2

Another arrival from a private Swedish collection is this handsome Teke Turkmen engsi, made in the Merv Oasis of Turkmenistan circa 1870-1880.
The engsi was a yurt door-hanging and symbolised the gateway to Paradise. The bottom panel represented the sky-door or gateway with the central cross dividing the field into the symbolic 4 gardens. Once there, you are spiritually secure.
This engsi is in excellent complete condition and very interestingly, at the very top right-hand corner, and as can be seen in two of the close-up photos, there is the one and only line of magenta silk knots! I guess the weaver inserted these to show that this was her engsi and possibly was very special to her as part of her dowry.
Size: 1.45m x 1.20m (4' 9" x 4' 0").
POA
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Antique Shirvan Rug, Shirvan, Eastern Caucasus

Item Ref
BM/RP

Just arrived from a private Australian collection, this mint condition rug was made around 1900 in Shirvan in the eastern Caucasus. The central madder-red field contains stylised flowers, botehs and '8-pointed stars' and the main ivory border which surrounds the field shows the typical Shirvan 'calyx' pattern.
Size: 1.90m x 1.15m (6' 3" x 3' 9").
POA
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Antique Vanity-Bag, Qashqa'i Nomads, Fars Province, South-West ...

Item Ref
BM/PC

Wow! A beautiful, complete knotted-pile vanity-bag (chanteh in Persian), made by Qashqa'i nomads in south-west Persia circa 1900. The knotted-pile face is finely and intricately knotted comprising an 'eternal knot' - symbolising the eternal cycle of life in the centre surrounded by 'double-headed sunbirds' - guardians of the gates of Paradise - in excellent overall condition.
The bag has a plain-weave back and retains its original tassels symbolising 'good luck'. This bag was certainly highly prized and without doubt, a very desirable dowry weaving. Magnificent!
Size of bag 29cm (11") square with tassels extending by 48 cm (1' 7").
SOLD

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

Item Ref
BM/LPN1

This must be one of the smallest 'chantehs' (vanity-bags) I've come across! Charming in every way - knotted-pile on both faces and in mint condition. Probably dating to circa 1900, the little bag contains two stylised birds on one face and a powerful '8-pointed star' surrounded by birds on the other. A small bag like this might have contained a mirror or coins and it would have been one of the nomadic woman's prized possessions.
Size: 21cm x 17cm (8" x 7").
SOLD