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

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BM/JS

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").
SOLD

Antique Tibetan Flint Pouch, Tibet.

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BM/TP

A charming little flint pouch with flint still inside, and made in Tibet during the 19th century.
Size: 9cm x 5cm (3" x 2").
SOLD

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

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BM/EK1

Tiny vanity-bags ('chanteh' in Persian) from the 19th century are now very scarce and rare.
I found this one in Turkey last week - a beautiful small chanteh made by Qashqa'i nomads, in Fars Province, south-west Persia circa 1900. The lozenge in the indigo-blue knotted-pile field contains 'birds-heads' - symbols depicting the guardians of the gates of Paradise and the charming plain-weave back with 'zig-zag shapes which might very well symbolise flowing water.
The knotted face is very fine and the wool is soft and velvety.
Size: 30cm x 26cm (12" x 10").
SOLD

Antique Tribal Purse, Qashqa'i - Darrehshuri Nomads, ...

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BM/VK7

This is the cutest little 'khorjin' (mini saddlebags) probably used as a purse because of the small size. It is woven in a technique called 'shesha derma' by Darrehshuri Qashqa'i nomads at the end of the 19th century. Bags made using this shesha derma technique are very rare in todays market-place.
Size: 38cm x 17cm (1' 3" x 7").
SOLD

Antique Salt-Bag, Bakhtiari Nomads, Western Persia.

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BM/VK4

This wonderful old 'namakdan' (salt-bag) was woven in soumack technique by Bakhtiari nomads in western Persia during the 3rd quarter of the 19th century. The weave is extremely fine and the tiny highlights of white throughout, is cotton. The base of the bag is in knotted-pile comprising a row of '5s' - a quincunx symbol for warding off evil and protecting the contents of the bag. This is a rare and early example of Bakhtiari work.
Size: 56cm x 49cm (1' 10" x 1' 7").
SOLD

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

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BM/VK1

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").
SOLD

Antique 'Tasheh' (Wheat Sack), Luri-Bakhtiari Tribes, Western ...

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BM/T2

'Tashehs' or wheat sacks, were, as the name implies, used for containing wheat and loaded onto the flanks of the pack animals during long migrations. They were made as seen after which the sides and base were brought together and sewn-up with goat-hair, leaving an opening at the top into which the wheat was poured. Each wheat sack had its own identity - a bottle-shape knotted-pile centre which was a totemic symbol for each family. In the 1940s, plastic and gunny sacks arrived in the bazaars of Iran and started to replace the age-old woven wheat sacks. This period saw the demise of the tasheh and today they are rare. This sack retains its original goat-hair hanging loops and as you hopefully might imagine, make most attractive wall-hangings in the home.
Size: 1.30m x 1.02m (4' 3" x 3' 4").
SOLD

Antique 'Tasheh' (Wheat Sack), Luri Bakhtiari Tribes, ...

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BM/T1

This gorgeous 'tasheh' or wheat sack was made by Luri Bakhtiari nomads during the second quarter of the 20th century and although both sides have been reduced, it will make a most attractive wall-hanging.
Tashehs were totally utilitarian items, used for containing wheat and loaded onto the flanks of pack-animals during long migrations. Woven on ground looms as you see it, the sides and base were brought together and sewn up using goat-hair.
By the 1940s, plastic and gunny sacks had arrived in the bazaars of Iran and these began to replace the age-old tashehs to the point that they simply died out. Today, old tashehs are rare.
Size: 1.12m x 0.87m (3' 8" x 2' 10").
SOLD

Antique Double 'Tasheh' (Wheat Sacks), Luri-Bakhtiari Tribes, ...

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VS3

It is rare to find a double 'tasheh' (wheat-sack) and this is one I acquired in Iran some 30 years ago and it has just come back to me through the people down-sizing. Illustrated in my book 'Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent' under the chapter on the Bakhtiari, this tasheh was made and dated 1945 - the last period in which these beautiful nomadic pieces were made.
In this case, the double tasheh would have been split down the centre and then each individual piece would have the sides and base brought together, sewn up with goat-hair, leaving an opening at the top in which to pour the wheat. The central bottle-shape was always knotted in woollen pile - each one having its own family identity - and symbolically I believe this to represent the bounty of God. Today, tashehs are best hung on the wall to make fabulous decorative wall-hangings - tribal works of art.
Size: 2.20m x 1.02m (7' 3" x 3' 4").
SOLD

Antique 'Tasheh' (Wheat Sack), Luri-Bakhtiari Tribes, Western ...

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VS2

This wonderful 'tasheh' was made by Luri-Bakhtiari nomads around 1900. Made as a wheat sack ('tasheh' in Persian) on the loom as seen now, both sides would be drawn together, as well as the base, and sewn up with goat hair leaving an opening at the top into which could be poured the wheat. The central part of the tasheh always had a bottle-shape in knotted-pile which I believe was the family motif and symbolically represented the bounty of God.
Sadly, these tashehs were no longer made after the 1940s when plastic and gunny sacks arrived in the Iranian bazaars from the West. Therefore why should a nomad take months to weave such useful sacks when the nomad could barter for plastic sacks! A sad end to a wonderful tribal art. Today, tashehs make attractive and decorative wall-hangings.
Size: 1.07m x 1.00m (3' 6" x 3' 3").
SOLD

Antique Prayer-Rug, Timuri Dokhtar-e-Qazi Tribe, Western Afghanistan. ...

Item Ref
BM/JS

The prayer-rugs with this specific design incorporating a pointed mihrab on an indigo-blue background with overall small 'shrub' or 'tree' in the central field, belong to a small sub-tribe of the Timuri called the Dokhtar-e-Qazi (daughter of the Judge or Khan). Rugs of this quality from the 19th century rarely appear on the market these days and this one is one of the best - a beautiful example of the type with a wonderful palette of vegetable dyes. The last one in my possession was many years ago and published in my book 'Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent' under the 'Timuri' section.
Size: 1.53m x 1.12m (5' 0" x 3' 8").
SOLD

Antique Taimani Tribal Rug, Taimani Nomads, Western ...

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BM/T

I love the vibrant, playful natural colours in this little 19th century rug made by Taimani nomads in western Afghanistan. The wool is lustrous and the brocaded skirts remain intact at each end.
The Taimani belong to a group of tribes referred to as the Chahar Aimaq, where 'chahar' means 'four' and 'aimaq' is a Mongolian word for 'nomad'. They inhabit a large area of west-central Afghanistan, particularly around Charchagan in the provinces of Ghor and Farah and are, by far, the largest of the Chahar Aimaq confederation. Rugs of the Taimani have been, and continue to be, incorrectly labelled 'Baluch'.
A charming and delightful little rug.
Size: 1.10m x 0.65m (3' 7" x 2' 2").
SOLD

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

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BM/GT

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").
SOLD

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

Item Ref
BM/M2

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").
SOLD

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

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GT/BM

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").
SOLD

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

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SJ8

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.
SOLD

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

Item Ref
SJ7

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").
SOLD

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

Item Ref
SJ4

This very interesting half saddle-bag face is unusual in its field elements where it appears that possibly a young weaver started knotting a 'bird-like' motif (see lower area where she started) and appeared to get a bit confused with the drawing of this motif until later on, half-way up the bag, she then produces a more accurate symbol. The field is full of '5' symbols or 'quincunx' - symbolising protection to the contents of the bag. The two quincunx, two up from the bottom, are highlighted in yellow as opposed to ivory. Wonderful deep shades abound in the field of aubergine, madder-red, turquoise and indigo. The bag-face which was made by Baluch nomads in the province of Khorassan, possibly mid 19th century, is in good overall condition bar two small, old re-weaves.
Size: 70cm x 70cm (2' 4" x 2' 4").
SOLD

Antique Vanity-Bag (chanteh), Qashqa'i Nomads, Fars Province, ...

Item Ref
BM/ANR

Just found, a very fine chanteh (vanity-bag) of the Qashqa'i nomads of Fars, south-west Persia, made around 1890-1900. The bag is complete in very fine knotted-pile, lustrous wool and a fabulous plain-weave back in two shades of vegetable-dye green. The overall design on the knotted-pile front consists of a myriad of '8-pointed' stars disappearing under the borders and out into infinity. The base of the bag is beautifully brocaded in typical Qashqa'i quincunx pattern.
Size: 30cm x 28cm (12" x 11").
SOLD

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

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BM/MH

This exceptional Teke Turkmen rug is extremely finely knotted with superior wool and made circa 1870 in the Merv Oasis, Turkmenistan. The beautiful madder-red is just stunning and ranks amongst the very best colour in Teke work.
Size: 1.83m x 1.04m (6' 0" x 3' 5").
SOLD

Antique Salt-Bag, Uzbek Tribes, Uzbekistan.

Item Ref
BMac9

Salt-Bags (namakdan) of the Uzbek nomads are rare. Their purpose was purely utilitarian and used for containing lumps of rock-salt, given to their animals during long migrations to help in the dehydration process. This extremely fine bag in plain-weave technique has an exciting visual appearance with the zig-zag pattern probably representing flowing water - a necessity in their daily lives. The bag is in excellent condition with plain-weave back and original tassels, inserted for good luck and made circa 1900. All the dyes are natural with a lovely use of golden yellow throughout.
Size: 53cm x 36cm (1' 9" x 1' 2") excluding tassels.
SOLD

Antique Salt-Bag, Kazak Mountains Region, South-West Caucasus. ...

Item Ref
BMac6

Having been in my own collection for many years, I have found a rug I want to keep and have been in a dilemma as to whether or not I sell this rare and beautiful 'namakdan' (salt-bag) as I need to downsize only a little! Anyway, decision made and here it is, a rare salt-bag made in the Kazak Mountains of the south-west Caucasus circa 1900. The bag is complete with its original plain-weave back and braided hanging cords. I love the knotted-pile face with its 'Kazak lozenge' in the centre and the depiction of a double-headed quadruped and peacock in the neck. The glowing sky-blue 'medakhyl' border frames the madder-red field beautifully. A very collectable little bag which I hope will go to a good home!
Size: 51cm x 42cm (1' 8" x 1' 4").
SOLD

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

Item Ref
BMac5

Antique 'gabbehs' - thickly-piled rugs for everyday use in the tents and for wrapping up children during the long, cold winter nights - are very rare today. I found this one in the north of England in a filthy state and have since had it thoroughly washed and restored. The result is quite amazing, with the fabulous natural colours glowing and the wool soft and lustrous. Even the original braided end finishes remain intact!
Gabbehs were simplistic in every way - designed to be made quickly and for hard use on the floors of the tents. The designs were the weavers' own art - what they wanted to create and what they saw around them in terms of the colours of the landscape such as the sun setting over the mountains etc. - not in any way following the elegant and probably later weavings with their specific tribal symbols and identity. I love this gabbeh and I hope you will too!
Size: 2.08m x 1.31m (6' 10" x 4' 4").
SOLD

Old Dining Sofreh, Kamo, Central Persia.

Item Ref
BMac4

I love the simplistic visual attractiveness of the sofrehs from the village area of Kamo in central Iran. This one, not dissimilar to the one on the front cover of my recently printed 3rd edition book 'Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent', depicts mountains and I suspect, rivers flowing through the area, absolutely charming in every way. However, in my years of dealing and handling Kamo sofrehs, I have never seen a 'dining' sofreh - those are the longer, narrow flat-weaves which were used to spread on the floor at mealtimes and bread, bowls of food, tea etc. spread out on the dining sofreh whilst the tribes-people would sit around cross-legged. All the sofrehs I have seen and handled have been 3'-4' square 'bread' sofrehs - used for kneading the dough on. This is therefore a rare and stunning flat-weave in excellent original condition.
Size: 1.38m x 0.58m (4' 6" x 1' 11").
SOLD