Antique Turkmen Engsi, Teke Tribes, Merv Oasis, ...

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Engsis were hung on the inside of the Turkmen tent and symbolised the gateway to Paradise. The bottom panel represented the 'sky door' with the cross design dividing the field into the four symbolic gardens.
This beautiful engsi, which was made during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, has a luxurious woollen pile and is complete and in excellent condition.
Size: 1.52m x 1.15m (5' 0" x 3' 9").

Antique Timuri Tribal Rug, Possibly Dokhtar-e-Qazi, Borderlands ...

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A truly beautiful Timuri rug, possibly made by the Dokhtar-e-Qazi tribe in the borderlands of north-eastern Persia and north-western Afghanistan circa 1900.
The overall field design of small shrubs is typical of the Dokhtar-e-Qazi tribes. The main madder-red border is unusual with a flower and vine pattern and surrounded on both sides by interlinking 'S' symbols on a pale yellow background.
The rug is in excellent condition, complete with stunning brocaded skirts, albeit the lower left corner has a very slight nibble out of it which I am having restored.
A truly superb rug.
Size: 1.70m x 0.84m (5' 7" x 2' 9").

Antique Baluch Tribal Rug, Khorassan Province, North-East ...

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This unusual Baluch rug incorporates four main vertical border patterns in the field.
It is in excellent overall condition complete with chevron kilim skirts and made circa 1880.
Size: 1.75m x 1.07m (5' 9" x 3' 6").

Antique Qashqa'i Rug, Safi Khani Taifeh, Fars ...

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I love the beautiful drawing of design on this 19th century rug, possibly made by the Safi Khani taifeh within the Qashqa'i Confederacy. I see the rounded shapes as stylised flowers, opening up to the sun, the most important symbol in tribal life providing life! The madder-red ground is glowing and apart from brown-dye corrosion, the rug is in very good overall condition.
Size: 1.83m x 1.27m (6' 0" x 4' 2").

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

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When I was offered this unusual rug, I was mesmerised by the huge amount of the natural green colour, which is very unusual and rare in tribal rugs.
This rug was made as a 'gabbeh' - a relatively coarse knotted-pile rug with a lustrous, woollen pile for everyday use in the tents to give warmth and hard wear. These gabbehs were also used as blankets to cover children during the cold, winter nights.
Dated 1340 in the Islamic calendar, 1922 in the solar calendar, the gabbeh incorporates two large 'birds-heads' loxenges on that wonderful green field and surrounded by a main ivory border with a 'tree-of-life' design all the way round.
As gabbehs were given extremely hard use in the tents, few today of this age have survived. This one is in very good overall condition with full pile throughout.
Size: 1.63m x 1.40m (5' 4" x 4' 7").

Antique Perepidal Rug, Eastern Caucasus.

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What an amazing rug!
Very finely knotted with a red ground containg the typical Perepidal stylised winged birds and dragons which, I suspect, represents the symbolic 'dragon & phoenix' - the fight between good and evil!
Note also, the beautiful shade of green in the main border?
Rugs like this are rare in today's world market-place and this rug, made circa 1870-1880 is in very good condition with just a minor shade of wear.
Size: 1.70m x 1.30m (5' 7" x 4' 3").

Antique Chelaberd Rug, Southern Caucasus.

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The development of the Chelaberd design can be seen through a number of extant rugs as far back as the 17th century. The name 'Chelaberd' originates from a village to the south-east of Chondzoresk in the southern Caucasus.
The red ground is dominated in this case by two large sun-flowers bursting open and symbolically giving life.
This is a truly fabulous rug, made in the Chelaberd region around 1900 and looking closely, you can see stylised peacocks and quadrupeds.
In very good condition, albeit with an evenly-low cut pile, this has been reflected in the price.
Size: 2.34m x 1.62m (7' 8" x 5' 4").

Antique Afshar Tribal Rug, Neiriz Region, Kerman ...

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The so-called 'shield motif' depicted over the whole indigo-blue field of this magnificent carpet, is actually a representation of the double-headed sunbird opposing each other on either side of a small tree or shrub. This is a rare symbol on 19th century Afshar tribal rugs and one which, over many years, has been of a highly collectable group. The natural colours throughout are beautiful and the overall pile is in excellent condition, complete with striped kilim skirts each end.
Made circa 1860-1870 in the Neiriz region of Kerman Province, southern Persia, this stunning carpet would fit in well to a collector's pot pouree!
Size: 2.14m x 1.52m (7' 0" x 5' 0").

Antique Prayer-Rug, Shirvan Region, Eastern Caucasus.

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Another wonderful little prayer-rug just discovered on a recent trip to Istanbul.
Made in the Shirvan region of the eastern Caucasus and dated to the left side of the pointed mihrab, 1331 in the Islamic calendar, which is 1913 in the Solar calendar.
The ivory ground contains a myriad of tiny flowers with a blue pointed prayer mihrab at the top and surrounded by two main borders, one containing small stylised flowers, the other with dragon symbols.
In excellent overall condition.
Size: 1.30m x 0.86m (4' 3" x 2' 10").

Antique Salt-Bag, Afshar Nomads, Kerman Province, Southern ...

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Beautiful natural colours abound in this late 19th century salt-bag ('namakdan' in Persian) woven in soumak technique by Afshar nomads circa 1890-1900. This bag, which I found in a private collection, was acquired in Iran in the 1950s. It is complete with a madder-red plain-weave back and the original neck tassels remain virtually intact. The selvedges are overbound in dark-brown and ivory goat hair to give resilience to a bag which would have had hard use. A superb bag!
Size: 53cm x 53cm ( 1' 9" x 1' 9").

Antique Salt-Bag, Kazak Mountains, South-West Caucasus.

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Having been in my own collection for many years, I have found a rug I want to keep and have been in a dilemma as to whether or not I sell this rare and beautiful 'namakdan' (salt-bag) as I need to downsize only a little! Anyway, decision made and here it is - a rare salt-bag made in the Kazak Mountains of the south-west Caucasus circa 1900. The bag is complete with its original plain-weave back and braided hanging cords. I love the knotted-pile face with its 'Kazak lozenge' in the centre and the depiction of a double-headed quadruped and peacock in the neck. The glowing sky-blue 'medakhyl' border frames the madder-red field beautifully. A very collectable little bag which I hope will go to a good home!
Size: 51cm x 42cm (1' 8" x 1' 4").

Antique Pillow-Bag Face, Kordi Nomads, Quchan Region, ...

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This beautiful weaving was made by Kordi tribes in the Quchan region of north-east Persia circa 1900. The colours are beautifully vegetable and the soumak weave is fine and superbly executed. As mentioned in the previous description, I'm not convinced such pieces were made as 'balishts' (pillow-bags) as the weave is not condusive to laying one's head on! Therefore, I suspect they were dowry pieces, showing the prowess of the weaver as a desirable wife, and they might have been simply decorative to these nomads. Today, in the western world, they can also be decorative - used to cover a chest or table-top.
Size: 69cm x 36cm (2' 3" x 1' 2").