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

Item Ref
BM/CB

This amazing cargo-bag (rakhtekhab-pich in Persian) was made by Qashqa'i nomads during the first half 20th century in Fars Province, south-west Iran. These large storage bags were usually made in pairs and this is one of a pair of these incredibly tough utilitarian bags. During migrations, the bags would have been filled with bedding, clothes, pots and pans etc. and each tied to the flanks of the camel.
This bag is unusual for its depiction of stylised birds around the central red horizontal border. In excellent condition, the bag retains its leather tie-straps and leather binding on the edges.
Size: 76cm x 38cm x 30cm (2' 6" x 1' 3" x 1' 0").
£2,350

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

Item Ref
BM1970

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").
£1,875

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

Item Ref
BM/LPN7

Just 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").
£1,800

Antique Bag-Face, Timuri Tribes, Borderlands of Eastern ...

Item Ref
BM/SJ4

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 collectible.
Size:- 59cm x 46cm (2' 0" x 1' 6").
£1,750

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

Item Ref
BM/RA

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).
£1,500

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

Item Ref
BM2027

This stunning, double-sided small storage-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").
£1,475

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

Item Ref
BM/RP4

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").
£1,475

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

Item Ref
BM2032

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").
£1,450

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

Item Ref
BM/JS2

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").
£1,450

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

Item Ref
BM1983

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.
£1,450

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

Item Ref
BM1826

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").
£1,250

Antique Vanity-Bag, Qashqa'i - Kashkuli Tribe, Fars ...

Item Ref
BM2030

This is one of the finest woven little vanity-bags - 'chanteh' in Persian - that I've ever handled.
Woven by a woman of the Kashkuli taifeh, Qashqa'i Confederacy during the second half 19th century in Fars, south-west Persia, the incredibly fine soumak weave on the face is astounding. Sadly, there is some minor damage to the lower 'birds-heads' lozenge, as can be seen in the close-up photo, but this still doesn't detract from the overall beauty and rarity of this piece.
The back of the chanteh, which also has some damage, is woven in madder-red plain-weave with intricate weft-float brocade at the very top.
Apart from the damage, this is a truly beautiful and very collectable little bag.
Size: 28cm x 28cm (11" x 11").
£1,250