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

Item Ref
BM1891

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").
£2,300

Antique Salt-Bag, Qashqa'i Darrehshuri Tribe, Fars Province, ...

Item Ref
BM2002

This magnificent salt-bag ('namakdan' in Persian) was recently found in Iran. It was made by the Darrehshuri sub-tribe of the Qashqa'i Confederation circa 1900 and is in complete, excellent condition.
The warp structure contains an equal mix of goat-hair and white cotton with overlay/underlay goat-hair patterning on the wide vertical bands. The 3 borders are woven in brocaded wool as are the 3 horizontal bands in the main section of the bag. Particularly charming are the woollen tufts throughout which were possibly inserted for good luck.
This is a rare and fabulous salt-bag and would complement any collection.
Size: 55cm x 46cm (1' 10" x 1' 6").
£1,450

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

Item Ref
BM1960

What is important in nomadic tribal life is bread, salt and water. Salt-bags were specifically used for containing lumps of rock-salt which was given to the animals during long migrations to help in the dehydration process. This bag, woven by Qashqa'i nomads in Fars, south-west Persia circa 1890-1900 has an exciting 'zig-zag' design all over the face. I remember discussing symbolism with an elderly Qashqa'i woman in the 1970s and she said that zig-zags represented flowing water. So here we have the water and salt!
The back of the bag is woven in narrow bands of plain-weave, both in dyed and undyed wool. The bag is complete with braided warp threads, tied with coloured wool and originally used for threading a pole through which the shepherd would then carry over his shoulder.
The bag is in excellent condition.
Size: 66cm x 50cm (2' 2" x 1' 8").
£1,200

Antique Salt-Bag, Afshar Tribes, Kerman Province, South ...

Item Ref
BM/AN

This magnificent salt-bag (namakdan) has a most attractive field of '8-pointed stars' - symbols of protection, all disappearing under the main border and out into infinity. Beautiful shades of madder-red, ivory and mid indigo-blue dominate the face of the bag, woven in soumak technique by Afshar nomads in Kerman Province, south Persia circa 1870-1880.
The back of the namakdan is in plain-weave with narrow horizontal bands in red and blue and the remains of the hanging loop can be seen on either side of the neck. The top opening retains its slits and lappits, again, woven in soumak weave. There is one old re-weave which can be seen at the neck on the photo showing the back of the bag - possibly done in the field at some point in the distant past.
This is a truly rare and superb example of a lost woven art. A very collectable namakdan.
Size: 54cm x 44cm (1' 9" x 1' 5").
£1,200

Antique Salt-Bag, Timuri - Sangtschuli Tribe, Borderlands ...

Item Ref
BM1959

Finely woven in intricate soumak technique on the face of this stunning salt-bag ('namakdan' in Persian), and made circa 1900-1920 by Timuri - Sangtschuli tribes in the borderlands of north-eastern Persia and north-western Afghanistan. The back of the bag is woven in horizontal bands of plain-weave incorporating two bands of 'chevrons' - symbolically depicting migrating birds as once told to me by an elderly woman of the Afshar nomads. Note also, the narrow band of knotted-pile at the base of the bag, encompassing both the front and back and done to prevent the base of the bag wearing out. The selvedges are bound superbly in braided goat-hair for resiliance.
Salt-bags were specifically used for containing lumps of rock-salt which was given to the animals during long migrations to help in the dehydration process.
This beautiful woven work of nomadic art is in excellent overall condition and complete.
Was 1250 now 975.
Size: 59cm x 40cm (2' 0" x 1' 4").
£975

Antique Salt-Bag, Afshar Tribes of Bardsir, Kerman ...

Item Ref
BM/RP8

This finely woven salt-bag -'namakdan' in Persian - has a field design in soumak technique of stylised '8-pointed stars', symbols of protection. The main border comprises 'S' symbols or stylised 'dragons', also protective. The neck of the bag is beautifully finished in chevron pattern and braided at the very top. The plain-weave back is finished in wide horizontal bands of madder-red and apricot with one area having a small stain which I presume, happened during its time in tribal useage.
Woven by Afshar nomads in the environs of Bardsir, Kerman Province, south Persia circa 1900, the bag is in great, original condition.
Size: 72cm x 66cm (2' 4" x 2' 2").
£950

Antique Salt-Bag, Kurdish Jaf Tribes, Kurdistan.

Item Ref
BM1957

I love the natural colours in this charming salt-bag, made by Jaf Kurds in Kurdistan at the end of the 19th century. The wool pile on the front face is soft and glossy with the large hexagon in the lower section of the bag depicting the double headed sun-bird or dog, symbolising the guardians of the gates of Paradise. The back of the bag is woven in narrow bands of plain-weave and the remains of the handles emanating from the neck, are woven in soumak technique. Salt-bags made by the Jaf tribes are rare.
Size: 57cm x 36cm (1' 10" x 1' 2").
£950

Antique Salt-Bag, Shahsevan Tribes of Varamin, North-Central ...

Item Ref
BM1961

I love the simple drawing of a tree, dominating the pink-red ground of this unusual but charming plain-weave salt-bag from the Shahsevan nomads of the Varamin region of north-central Persia.
Made during the early part of the 20th century, the back of the bag is woven in undyed wool - quite a contrast to the colourful and simplistic front!
Size: 63cm x 38cm (2' 1" x 1' 3").
£950

Antique Salt-Bag, Kurdish Sanjabi Tribe, Kurdistan.

Item Ref
BM1947

This salt-bag - 'namakdan' in Persian - has to be handled to appreciate the wonderful tactile quality of the bag. It is chunky! The front face is woven in thick overlay/underlay brocading with a stunning use of sky-blue on the madder-red background and the back is in white cotton plain-weave with semi-depressed warps, providing a strong structure and an amazing handle. Particularly attractive, is the knotted-pile base in diagonal stripes of mid blue, turquoise, aubergine, red and golden-yellow.
This fabulous namakdan is in excellent condition and retaining its original braided hanging cord.
Woven by Sanjabi Kurds in Kurdistan around 1900.
Size: 60cm x 36cm (2' 0" x 1' 2").
£800

Antique Salt-Bag, Azeri Tribes, Azerbaijan.

Item Ref
BM1928

This charming salt-bag - 'namakdan' in Persian - is complete with braided hanging cord and is in excellent, complete condition.
Woven by Azeri tribes in Azerbaijan during the early part of the 20th century, salt-bags were mainly used, as the name implies, for containing lumps of rock-salt which was given to the animals to help in the dehydration process.
Size: 45cm x 36cm (1' 6" x 1' 2").
£750

Antique Salt-Bag, Kurdish - Sanjabi Tribe, Kurdistan. ...

Item Ref
BM1863

Another favourite salt-bag - 'namakdan' in Persian - made by Sanjabi Kurds at the end of the 19th century.
I love these chunky bags, made for tough, hard-wearing use, with the face woven in soumak technique and the back in narrow horizontal bands of flat-weave. The original tassels remain intact - symbolically inserted for good luck - and the braided handle also remains complete.
Salt-bags, as the name implies, were made for carrying lumps of rock-salt which was given to the animals during long migrations to help in the dehydration process. Namakdan of this age are rare, as they were put to hard use, were totally utilitarian, never intended for sale and when worn and threadbare, they were simply disposed of and a new one woven.
Was 950 now 750.
Size: 56cm x 40cm (1' 10" x 1' 4").
£750

Antique Salt-Bag, Shahsevan Tribes of Varamin, North-West ...

Item Ref
BM1881

This salt-bag ('namakdan' in Persian) has a very unusual design - certainly not one I have seen before! Two ivory birds-heads lozenges can be seen in the lower madder-red ground with what appear to be three stylised 'trees-of-life' above and one tree in the neck of the bag. The main border is in an attractive shade of golden-yellow which contains a continuous vine, symbolising the eternal cycle of life.
The back is more typical of Shahsevan weavings having narrow horizontal bands of different colours.
Made by Shahsevan tribes in the Varamin region of north-central Persia circa 1900.
Was 850 now 700.
Size: 46cm x 35cm (1' 6" x 1' 2").
£700