Antique Turkmen Chuval, Sariq Tribe, Yolatan Oasis, ...

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Absolutely stunning and one of the finest knotted chuvals of the Sariq Turkmen who inhabited the Yolatan Oasis during and prior to the nineteenth century. This beautiful 'chuval' (storage-bag), contains nine Sariq 'guls' or tribal crests on a glowing madder-red ground and with the extra panels, top and bottom, of dancing ladies! The last photo shows just how amazingly fine the knots are and this is certainly one of the very best Sariq chuvals I have had the great pleasure to own for many years and now time to be passed on to an equally deserving collector or lover of great Turkmen pieces! Like all nineteenth century and earlier rugs and weavings, photos can never give them full justice. When they are handled and caressed, these weavings show 'their true colours'! Made circa 1870-1880 and in great complete condition, this chuval is beautiful and very collectible.
Size: 1.40m x 0.95m (4' 7" x 3' 1").

Antique Turkmen Wedding-Camel Trapping, Ersary Tribes, Middle ...

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This magnificent wedding trapping has the most luxurious wool - soft and silky - the very best Turkmen quality. Made as a wedding-camel decoration and not as a storage bag, this trapping would have been part of the bride's dowry and never intended for sale. In excellent pile all over, the trapping did have a small area of damage which has been well restored. The overall design is ikat-inspired - typical of the work of the Ersary nomads in the Beshir region.
Size: 1.50m x 0.31m (4' 11" x 1' 0").

Antique Turkmen Asmalyk, Yomut Tribes, Trans-Caspian Steppes, ...

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Asmalyks were made in pairs as part of the bride's dowry and hung on the flanks of the wedding camel during the wedding procession. Once presented to the bridegroom as part of her dowry, he would hang them up in their wedding yurt for the rest of their married lives. Symbolically, they represented power and fertility.
This beautiful Asmalyk was made during the mid 19th century with a field design of 'ashiks' not seen after 1880. The natural colours are superb and incorporate a magnificent early turquoise colour. It is complete with hanging cords and bar one tiny repair in the upper right cord, it is in excellent condition.
Size: 69cm wide x 47cm high (2' 3" wide x 1' 6" high).

Antique Chuval, Yomut Turkmen Tribes, Trans-Caspian Steppes, ...

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Magnificent! Fabulous rich madder-red with four vertical rows of four 'kilim guls' - more often found on the flatweave chuvals. This is therefore a rarer type than the flatweave chuvals and made by Yomut Turkmen around 1870-1880.
Chuvals or storage-bags were usually made in pairs and carried clothing and other personal belongings on the flanks of the camels during migrations. This chuval lost its flatwoven back a long time ago as well as the outer 'birds-heads' border on the sides only, where new selvedges have been added. Otherwise it is in excellent pile throughout.
This beautiful piece needs to be seen to appreciate the wonderful colour of madder-red which photos often don't do any justice to!
Size: 1.07m x 0.79m (3' 6" x 2' 7").

Antique Turkmen Saddle-Cover, Goklen Tribes, Turkmenistan, Central ...

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The shape of a saddle with a slit for the pommel, this lovely saddle-cover was made by the Goklen Turkmen at the end of the nineteenth century. In excellent condition and just washed, there is a beautiful use of light blue, surfacing as highlights throughout the dominant madder-red field.
Size: 56cm x 56cm ( 1' 10" x 1' 10").

Antique Turkmen Chuval, Teke Tribes, Akhal Oasis, ...

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The stunning cochineal-red field of this Teke Turkmen storage-bagface -'chuval' is decorated with nine Teke 'guls' (tribal crests). The wool is like silk-velvet, finely knotted indicating a highly-prized utilitarian item within this Teke family. Made during the third quarter of the 19th century, this bagface has lost a little of its side borders and although it is in excellent pile all over, there is a tear at the top of the middle top gul which has been sewn together. The original flat-woven back is missing - possibly removed in the past by Turkmen dealers who thought the pice more saleable as a 'rug' rather than a large storage-bag!
Was 1500 now 1350.
Size: 1.34m x 0.80m (4' 5" x 2' 8").

Antique Turkmen Torba, Yomut Tribes, Trans-Caspian Steppes, ...

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This beautiful torba (small storage bag) was made by Yomut Turkmen in the Trans-Caspian Steppes circa 1900. It has a rare field design of small symbolic guls (tribal crests) with superb shades of madder-red, natural ivory and indigo sky-blue. The torba is in immaculate condition with plain-weave back, the remains of the hanging cords and tassels at the base.
Size: 76cm x 41cm (2' 6" x 1' 4").

Antique Turkmen Spindle-Bag, Yomut Tribes, Trans-Caspian Steppes, ...

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Turkmen spindle-bags were used, as the name implies, for containing wooden spindles.
This one is a good early example of the type, probably made around 1860-1870 by Yomut Turkmen in the Trans-Caspian Steppes. The design in the central field represents the totemic tree, which the Shaman will climb to communicate with the great Gods in the sky. The wool is soft and the bag is complete with its original plain-weave, undyed wool back.
Size: 40cm x 20cm (1' 4" x 8").

Antique Turkmen Chuval, Teke Tribes, Akhal Oasis, ...

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The madder-red field in this exceptionally fine Teke chuval (bedding-bag), can be compared to the most desirable reds in the weavings of the highly collectable Salor Turkmen. The chuval has highlights of cochineal-dye silk and was a very special piece when it was made. Although the original selvedges are missing and the flat-woven back has long gone, the chuval still exudes power and intense beauty - a sign of the very highest quality work of the Teke weavers during the middle of the 19th century in the Akhal Oasis.
Was 1450 now 1200.
Size: 1.18m x 0.66m (3' 10" x 2' 2").

Antique Uzbek Panel, Uzbekistan, Central Asia.

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This very attractive, full-pile large panel was made by Uzbek tribes circa 1900.
This might have originally been a yurt hanging or possibly the face of what was once a large storage bag.
Uzbek weavings like this are uncommon. This would make a very useable and stunning floor rug.
Was 1450 now 950.
Size: 1.96m x 1.06m (6' 5" x 3' 6").

Antique Turkmen 'Bukcha', Yomut Tribe, Trans-Caspian Steppes, ...

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The only words that come to mind are 'just incredible'!
Sourced from an old Turkmen family, this fantastic 'bukcha' was made circa 1880 in the trans-Caspian Steppes by a Yomut Turkmen woman and made as part of her dowry. The bukcha is shaped like an envelope and was initially made to contain a large flat loaf of bread, symbolically important at the wedding ceremony.
Afterwards, the bukcha was used by the bride for containing her most treasured small possessions including jewellery. The bukcha is made in a specific way: four triangles are knotted to the sides of a rectangular flat-weave kilim and, when folded inwards, they form an envelope shape. Three flaps are sewn together with the upper flap being left loose to act as the opener.
Considered to rank as one of the most highly regarded weavings in any Turkmen collection, bukchas are now extremely rare. This example, is completely preserved with its braided surrounding band containing tassels for good luck.
See a similar example on page 49 of my third edition 'Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent'.
Size: 1.10 x 0.81m (3' 7" x 2' 8") incl. tassels; 81 x 81cm (2' 8" x 2' 8") without tassels.

Pair of Antique Asmalyks, Yomut Turkmen Tribes, ...

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Acquired from a private collection, these are a rare pair of Yomut Turkmen 'tree' asmalyks.
The asmalyk were made in pairs to hang on either flank of the bridal camel during the wedding procession. They were highly-prized dowry trappings and symbolised power and fertility. Asmalyks with the 'gapyrga' or 'tree' design are relatively rare and pairs are even rarer - most have been separated over the years. Made by the Yomut tribe, these asmalyks are in excellent condition and made circa 1870-1880.