Antique Salt-Bag, Qashqa'i - Amaleh Taifeh, Fars ...

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An absolute stunner! One of the best 'namakdans' (salt-bags) to come my way for a while. Particularly interesting as it was made by the Amaleh sub-tribe of the Qashqa'i Confederacy during the second half of the nineteenth century. It is in beautiful, complete condition with a knotted-pile face and a white cotton back. The madder-red central field comprises tiny, stylised botehs in magnificent, natural golden-yellow and surrounded by a golden-yellow inner border. The outer surrounding border is in ivory wool and the original selvedge seals the bag with wool in different colours. The top opening is also complete with wool cords and brocaded lappits. This is a truly magnificent and highly collectable salt-bag.
Size: 67cm x 59cm (2' 2" x 1' 11").

Antique Storage-Bag 'rakhtekhab-pich', Luri Bakhtiari Nomads, The ...

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Large storage-bags called 'rakhtekhab-pich' by the Luri/Bakhtiari and 'mafrash' by the Turkic tribes, of this age and fine quality, are scarce these days. This complete bag is similar to a stunning pair of saddle-bags illustrated by James Opie in his 1992 edition of 'Tribal Rugs', page 111, showing the ivory cotton side panels and top flaps with the interlinking columns of double-headed sun-birds, symbolic guardians of the gates of Paradise.
Sometimes it's hard to visualise how these beautiful bags can be displayed in the home! To make the best out of them, they need to have either foam cut to the interior size of the bag thus showing the bag in its full glory or having a wooden frame built to house the interior of the bag. Only then, it can be seen as a fabulous piece of woven furniture in the house and making a wonderful talking-point.
Was 1850 now 1500.
Size: 140cm long x 66cm wide x 56cm deep (4' 7" long x 2' 2" wide x 1' 10" deep).

Antique Khorjin (saddle-bags), Bakhtiari Tribes, The Chahar ...

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Acquired from a private collection, this beautiful, complete Bakhtiari khorjin (saddle-bags), woven in soumak technique in the Chahar Mahal region of western Persia at the end of the nineteenth century. This khorjin was originally sourced in Iran in the 1940s by a man who travelled into Bakhtiari territory buying rugs and bags from the nomads. The khorjin is in near-mint condition with its original ties and lappits and knotted-pile base at the bottom of each bag. The back is woven in plain-weave technique with narrow horizontal bands of reds and blues.
Size: 1.15m x 0.56m (3' 9" x 1' 10").

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

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Small vanity-bags or 'chanteh' in Persian, were made by young brides as part of their dowry, and used for keeping their personal belongings in such as jewellery, coins and fullers earth. They were highly-prized bags, never intended for sale in their lifetime and often handed down to their female children before they got married.
This fabulous bag, made by Qashqa'i nomads in Fars Province, south-west Persia circa 1880, has a sumptious knotted-pile with beautiful vegetable colours and a lattice design of symbolic motifs on the face. On the back are horizontal bands of red, blue and a stunning pea-green in plain-weave technique. The top opening retains its tie-slits in soumak technique with the remains of the ties on the inside.
This is a truly rare and amazing survivor of a long, lost art.
Size: 30cm (12") square.

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

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Illustrated in my 3rd edition 'Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent', this magnificent storage-bag or 'khour' in Persian, was woven in intricate complementary weft-weave technique by Qashqa'i nomads during the last quarter of the nineteenth century in Fars Province, south-west Persia.
The work, as described in my book, is exemplary, bearing in mind the bag was an everyday utilitarian item, used to contain and transport clothes, bedding, pots and pans etc. and shows the skill and artistry that went into making these bags. The sides, handles and loops at the top are bound in strong goat-hair for resilience.
This is a rare and beautiful work of nomadic art which has been in my personal collection for many years and to which I have now decided to part with - rather sadly!
Size: 90cm x 69cm (3' 0" x 2' 3").

Rare Antique Bag-Face, Timuri Tribes, Borderland of ...

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This is one of the earliest types of design found on bags knotted by the Timuri tribes during the early 19th century. Once part of a double saddlebag, bag-faces like this are extremely rare.
The colours are beautifully saturated with highlights of an early aubergine colour and the four central panels contain pre-Islamic symbols, lost in the passage of time.
Very collectable.
Size:- 59cm x 46cm (2' 0" x 1' 6").

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

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Woven in dark-brown, natural, undyed wool and then highlighted in knotted-pile incorporating a very handsome peacock, this beautiful utilitarian bag was probably made for containing items such as spindles, wooden spoons or even water-pipes. The peacock would have symbolised divine immortality and wealth.
In near-mint condition, the bag was made by Qashqa'i nomads in Fars province, south-west Persia, during the last quarter of the nineteenth century.
This is a very rare example of a lost woven art!
Size: 46cm x 30cm (1' 6" x 1' 0").

Antique Vanity-Bag, Baluch Jehan Begi Tribe, Khorassan ...

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This stunning, double-sided small vanity-bag was woven by the Baluch Jehan Begi tribe at the end of the nineteenth century. It is in complete, excellent condition and woven in tight soumak technique.
This is a very good example of the type.
Size: 44cm x 48cm (1' 5" x 1' 7").

Antique Vanity-Bag, Qoraba'i Tribes of Bardsir Region, ...

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Often referred to as 'Afshar', these beautiful 'chantehs' (vanity-bags) with the paired botehs, according to Parviz Tanavoli, are the work of the Qoraba'i nomads, neighbours of the Afshar in the region of Bardsir in southern Persia. This charming little bag, made around 1910-1920, is in complete condition with original madder-red plain-weave back, braided hanging cord and tassels around the sides and botton, albeit with some missing. These tassels can be replaced so please ask if this is required.
The botehs, I believe, are fertility symbols, where the ivory one represents the male and the dark-red boteh, the female. Also note the stylised birds in the centre of each boteh and what appears to be a winged creature within each boteh.
A very collectable little bag, recently found in southern Iran.
31cm x 50cm (12" x 20").

Antique Balisht, Kizyl Bash Tribes of Varamin, ...

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This beautiful knotted-pile weaving was once a pillow-bag ('balisht' in Persian) albeit now without its plain-weave back. The juxtaposition and natural colour of birds-heads lozenges is simply stunning and this has to be seen to be fully appreciated. The remains of the madder-red plain-weave back can be seen at one end.
Made by Kizyl Bash tribes in the Varamin region during the last quarter of the 19th century, the piece is in superb condition.
Size: 77cm x 38cm (2' 6" x 1' 3").

Antique Saddlebag-face, Afshar Nomads of Aqta', Kerman ...

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This beautiful bag-face is an early example of Afshar work, dating to circa 1870 from Aqta' in the province of Kerman, south Persia. The golden-yellow main border is very interesting and one needs to look closely to see the depiction of two birds, opposing each other on either side of a stylised 'tree of life' on the top and bottom borders and on the side borders, camels opposing each other. These are popular symbols amongst the Afshar tribes. The field design seems to comprise a highly stylised lotus blossom amid vegetal patterns embellished with geometrical motifs but it might also stem from the open-winged eagle - an ancient Persian motif. Once part of a double saddle-bag, this face is all that remains. The superb, vegetable-dye colours are beautifully saturated and it is in very good pile all over.
Size: 61cm x 56cm (2' 0" x 1' 10").

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

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Just in is this beautiful 'balisht' or pillow-bag, made by Baluch tribes in the province of Khorassan, north-east Persia around 1900. Balishts had to be finely knotted using the very best glossy wool, bearing in mind their purpose as a pillow where the head was placed during sleep. Balishts were also used for lounging on inside the tent during the day and evening. This handsome balisht has a natural camel-hair field with stylised 'tree-of-life' rising up from the underworld, through the earthly world and into the realms of the spirit.
Few balishts that come on the market these days are complete with their plain-weave backs, unlike this fabulous one which does have its plain-weave back and is in excellent condition.
Size: 88cm x 50cm (2' 11" x 1' 8").