Baluch 'cockerel' Bag-Face, Baluch Tribes, Khorassan Province, ...

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This is one of the very best Baluch 'cockerel' bag-faces I've handled for many years.
It is a superb example of the very best of the highly-collectible so-called 'bird bags', made by Baluch nomads in the Khorassan region of north-east Persia circa 1870. The wool is soft and lustrous - a sign of the very best of Baluch weaving - and the bag-face is in near mint condition, albeit, without its back, lost many years ago. The deep indigo-blue ground contains a myriad of cockerels symbolising the harbinger of the day, the dispeller of the night. I suspect the dark birds are females and the two ivory birds are males, symbolising the creation of life.
Note also, the 'diamond' type symbols, top left and right corners of the field, highlighted in ivory - their symbolic meaning lost in the passage of time.
Size: 70cm x 76cm (2' 3" x 2' 6").
| $3,136 USD | €2,622 EUR

Antique Salt-Bag ('namakdan'), Kurdish Nomads, Persian Kurdistan. ...

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This must be one of the smallest 'namakdans' (salt-bags) I've had the joy to handle! I suspect it might have been made for a young Kurdish shepherd boy, who might have accompanied his father while attending to the family's flock of sheep. The weaver, possibly the boy's mother, was a very accomplished weaver and this can be seen in the quality of this rare and beautiful little utilitarian bag. She may even have depicted her son in the natural camel-hair field, just above the large lozenge, surrounded by the family's animals as well as symbols for protection. Even the diamond-shaped 'eye' in the centre is knotted-in to ward-off evil spirits! The back of the bag is woven in plain-weave technique and the sides are over-bound in wool in a barber-pole design.
Salt-bags were made to contain lumps of rock-salt, used to give to the animals to help in the dehydration process but various nuts were also stored in these bags, such as pistachio and almonds. Rare.
Size: 30cm x 28cm (12" x 11").
| $2,439 USD | €2,039 EUR

Antique Kurdish Bag-Face, Jaf Tribes, Kurdistan.

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Once part of double saddle-bags, this magnificent bag-face has the most fabulous array of saturated, vegetable colours, only found in the very best of type. Made by Jaf-Kurds in Kurdistan during the second half of the nineteenth century, the field consists of a myriad of 'double-headed sunbird' lozenges, all disappearing under the borders and out into infinity. The ivory main border has a beautifully-drawn 'flower' motif and the overall condition is very good.
Size: 82cm x 59cm (2' 8" x 2' 0").
| $2,299 USD | €1,923 EUR

Antique Saddle Bag-Face, Khamseh Confederacy Tribes, Fars ...

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The indigo-blue field of this charming bag-face, once one half of a complete double saddle-bag, contains a myriad of chickens, all pecking at seeds on the ground. Made by the nomads of the Khamseh Confederacy around 1870, all the colours are from vegetable dyes and although the pile is evenly low, it makes a most attractive and decorative wall-hanging.
Size: 59cm (2') square.
| $2,021 USD | €1,690 EUR

Antique Salt-Bag, Bakhtiari Nomads, The Chahar Mahal ...

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This fabulous salt-bag ('namakdan' in Persian) was woven by Bakhtiari nomads in the Chahar Mahal region of western Persia circa 1900.
The bag is intricately woven in soumak technique on the front and in plain-weave on the back but, incorporating an ivory panel of stylised birds - amazing! The base of the bag is in knotted-pile to give resilience during hard use and the weaver has sewn-in at the top of the bag, a piece of circular red-felt containing 7 white buttons around one blue button - symbolically representing protection and good luck.
This bag goes to prove the incredible weaving done by these nomadic women, just for something utilitarian to contain rock-salt! Bags like this were probably dowry pieces and were highly prized among the nomads to the point that they were never intended to sell.
Size: 64cm x 46cm (2' 1" x 1' 6").
| $1,742 USD | €1,457 EUR

Antique Pair of Mini Bags, Bakhtiari Nomads, ...

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A truly charming pair of mini saddle-bags made by Bakhtiari nomads around 1900-1910 in the region of the Chahar Mahal in western Persia. Unlike the lage saddle-bags ('khorjin' in Persian), these tiny bags were probably made for containing coins, even jewellery. Little bags like these are rare today and this pair have just come out of a private UK collection.
Size: 38cm x 20cm (1' 3" x 8").
| $1,324 USD | €1,107 EUR

Antique Mini Saddle-bags 'khorjin', Qashqa'i Nomads, Fars ...

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This pair of mini-saddle-bags - 'khorjin' in Persian - are charming in every way. The weave is intricate warp-float technique and each panel or pouch contains an 'eye' for warding off evil in knotted pile. The bags, which are in mint condition, were made by Qashqa'i Darrehshuri nomads circa 1900 and are illustrated in my book 'Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent' page 184.
Size: 56cm x 35cm (1' 10" x 1' 2").
| $1,324 USD | €1,107 EUR

Antique Wedding Camel Decoration, Afshar Nomads, Kerman ...

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This beautifully woven camel decoration was made by Afshar nomads circa 1900-1920.
The quality of the weaving and soft natural dye wool is outstanding and I can only guess it was a dowry band, possibly made by the young bride to decorate her wedding camel.
| $1,324 USD | €1,107 EUR

Antique Pair of Saddle-Bags, Timuri Tribes, Western ...

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Complete 19th century saddle-bags like this one are becoming scarce, as many were cut in half during the early commercial part of the 20th century, to sell as cushions. Therefore it's important that those complete 'khorjin' should be preserved. The Timuri produced probably the most elaborate saddle-bags, particularly as can be seen here in the brocade work that constitutes the bridge. Both knotted-pile bags are in very good condition, as is the plain-weave back. Made in western Afghanistan circa 1880.
Size: 1.28m x 0.56m (4' 2" x 1' 10").
| $1,324 USD | €1,107 EUR

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

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This superb and complete 'namakdan' (salt-bag), with its diagonal bands of 'double-headed sunbirds' symbols, was made by Qashqa'i nomads in south-west Persia circa 1900.
This is a very nice example of a Qashqa'i utilitarian flat-weave salt-bag - generally used to contain lumps of rock-salt and sometimes nuts. Front and back faces are equally stunning as is the detailed soumak weave just below the neck and at the top of the neck.
Size: 53cm x 50cm (1' 9" x 1' 8").
| $1,185 USD | €991 EUR

Antique Salt-Bag, Azeri Nomads, Azerbaijan.

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I love the powerful 'birds-heads' lozenge in the centre of this simple but majestic salt-bag - made by Azeri tribes in Azerbaijan around 1900. Salt-bags or 'namakdan' in Persian, were, as the name implies, used for containing rock-salt which was given to the animals during migrations to help in the dehydration process. Often nuts were kept in these bags such as pistachio and almonds.
The face of this bag is in knotted-pile - the back with horizontal bands of different colours - and it is in complete, original condition.
Size: 63cm x 44cm (2' 1" x 1' 5").
| $1,185 USD | €991 EUR

Antique Salt-Bag, Baluch Tribes, Khorassan, North-east Persia. ...

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This chunky 'namakdan (salt-bag) is piled on both sides in glossy, lustrous wool - the very best quality wool sheared from the underbelly of the mountain sheep only once a year.
Baluch salt-bags piled on both sides are rare and this bag has been in a UK private collection for many years. The bag is in excellent condition.
Size: 51cm x 45cm (1' 8" x 1' 6").
| $1,185 USD | €991 EUR