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").

Antique Salt Bag, Darrehshuri Qashqa'i Nomads, Fars ...

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Woven in the 'shisha derma' technique, this magnificent salt bag (namakdan) was made by the Darreshuri taifeh of the Qashqa'i Confederacy in the 19th century. The attached photos show the front and back of the bag including close-up images.
Salt bags were utilitarian containers for rock-salt and nuts and were in everyday use amongst the nomads in the nineteenth century. Bags of this age are now very scarce and very few exist among the tribes in Iran. This one has just come out of Iran and is in very good condition with the remains of its original hanging cords, each cord over-bound in red, yellow and blue wool.
Size: 40cm x 30cm (1' 4" x 1' 0").

Antique Bread Sofreh, Afshar Tribes, Kerman Province, ...

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The visual impact from this bread sofreh (flat-weave) is stunning.
Imagine it hanging on a wall and seeing it as woven art every day, what pleasure it would bring. Sadly, I don't have a wall on which to hang it, but if I did, it wouldn't be on my website!!
Bread sofreh were specifically made for kneading the dough and preparing the flat-bread. I remember my trips to Iran to find these sofreh and finding them caked in flour with no design or colour obvious, until of course, they were washed. Then, and only then, could they fully be appreciated, in their simplistic designs and fabulous natural colours, as woven works of nomadic art.
This fabulous sofreh was made during the early 20th century by Afshar nomads in Kerman province, southern Persia, and I see the vertical zig-zags as the symbolic depiction of flowing water, like bread, important ingredients in the sustenance of life in harsh climates.
Size: 1.28m x 1.28m (4' 2" x 4' 2").

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 Bag-face, Kazak Mountains Region, South-west Caucasus. ...

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Stunning simplicity shown in the drawing of the flame symbols (botehs) on a deep indigo-blue field. Once part of a bag, this beautiful bag-face was knotted in the Kazak Mountains region of the south-west Caucasus during the mid 19th century. This is a rare weaving and it reminds me of the fabulous Marasali rugs made in the eastern Caucasus during the 19th century.
Size: 60cm x 51cm (2' 0" x 1' 8").

Antique Prayer Rug, Timuri Tribes, Borderlands of ...

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Arrived today, this beautiful 19th century prayer rug, made by Timuri tribes on the borderlands of eastern Persia and western Afghanistan, has been in a US collection for over 60 years.
The rug is in excellent condition and retains its complete brocaded skirts at each end. As is the case with 19th century Timuri work, the vegetable-dye wool is of a superior quality, taken from their fat-tailed sheep, fed on the luscious grass in their summer pastures, high up in the Band-i-Baba and Sia Bubak mountains. The central field comprises of a rare Timuri 'tree' design with highlights of turquoise, which is not easy to see in the attached photos, but I can assure you, it is there!
A rare find and a highly collectable little rug of the Timuri nomads.
Size: 1.37m x 0.81m (4' 6" x 2' 8").

Antique Camel Decoration, Baluch Nomads, Western Afghanistan. ...

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Camels were decorated during migrations and on special occasions such as weddings, and this beautiful trapping would have been tied around the neck of the camel. Made by either Baluch or Timuri nomads around 1900-1920, this trapping is in excellent condition with original tassels symbolising good luck.

Antique Salt Bag, Timuri Tribes, Borderlands of ...

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This is an amazing salt bag! In mint condition, all vegetable colours with highlights of silk throughout, it was made by Timuri tribes in the borderlands of eastern Persia and western Afghanistan around the early part of the 20th century. I would guess that this bag was made for a very important member of the tribe such as the chief, possibly a dowry weaving and stored in a bokcha (chest) and possibly never used. The tassels are intact and symbolise good luck to the owner of the bag. An incredible fine knotted pile on both faces and very special.
Size: 91cm x 50cm (3' 0" x 1' 8") including tassels.

Antique Salt Bag, Timuri Tribes, Western Afghanistan ...

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This old and rare salt bag (namakdan) was made by Timuri nomads in western Afghanistan during the 3rd quarter of the 19th century. The bag has deep saturated natural colours and is in very good condition bar some loss to the top part of the bag on the back. Nevertheless, this is a very collectable salt bag.
Size: 45cm x 34cm (1. 6" x 1. 1").

Antique Saddle-Bag Face, Timuri Nomads, Western Afghanistan. ...

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Here we see a beautiful example of the highly collectable 'cockerel' bags - once part of a double saddle-bag but what remains is one face minus outer borders. Made by Timuri nomads in western Afghanistan circa 1870, the stylised cockerels symbolise the harbinger of the day and the dispeller of the night. A very collectable little bag face.
Size: 54cm x 59cm (1' 9" x 1' 11").