Antique Qashqa'i Rug, Buly Chaqal Sub-Tribe, Fars ...

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The madder-red field comprises the 'herati' pattern, i.e. two fish swimming around water-lilies - symbolising happiness. Made by the Buly Chaqal Qashqa'i taifeh in Fars Province, south-west Persia circa 1900, this elegantly, beautiful tribal rug is in excellent condition.
Size: 2.53m x 1.73m (8' 4" x 5' 8").

Bakhtiari 'Khan' Rug, Bakhtiari Tribes, The Chahar ...

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This rug can only be described as magnificent.
Made for a Bakhtiari Khan around 1880, the rug is very finely knotted indicating that it was given to the most experienced weaver within the tribe. The typical Bakhtiari compartmentalised design is beautifully drawn - not busy as seen in later examples of village Bakhtiari work.
The vegetable colours too are just stunning with gorgeous shades of golden yellow and rich green combined with madder-red and indigo-blue.
When it was made, the pile was cut short to accentuate the clarity of design and today, the overall condition is very good, evenly-low pile throughout.
Size: 1.68m x 1.37m (5' 6" x 4' 6").

Rare Soumak Storage Bag, Shahsevan Nomads, Moghan, ...

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On first appearance, many collectors will think this was the side panel for a large storage container called a 'mafrash'. But I can assure you it is not. This is a very rare example of a storage bag with the remains of the back which sadly, had to be removed due to extensive damage. I have never, in my many years of dealing, seen anything like this!
It is early. How early? I can only guess at the first quarter of the 19th century. Maybe earlier.
Made in soumak weave by Shahsevan nomads in the Moghan region of Azerbaijan, this near-complete fragment can be mounted to preserve it and then hung on a wall to appreciate.
Size: 96cm x 54cm (3' 2" x 1' 9").

Antique Kilim, Pirot, Southern Serbia.

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A magnificent large, nearly square, decorative kilim made and dated 1913 in the Pirot area of southern Serbia.
The colours are beautiful, as are the nicely spaced large diamond lozenges, surrounded by a powerful midnight-blue main border. The date, 1913, can be seen woven into the top right-hand corner of the main border.
Size: 4.00m x 3.90m (13' 2" x 12' 9").

Antique 'Shiraki' Flat-Weave, Khamseh Confederacy Tribes, Eastern ...

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Of all the flatwoven floor coverings, the least known is the 'palas'. The 'palas' was made by various tribes in Persia - the most common being from Kerman Province in the south and Khorassan Province in the north-east of the country. This particular palas is known as 'shiraki', made by Arab tribes within the Khamseh Confederacy of eastern Fars Province, south Persia circa 1900. The home of these nomads is between Abadeh and Darab and as far south to western Kerman and Minab. Many were woven in two halves and expertly joined together as well as in one complete piece, like this one. The pattern and design in all of them is provided by tiny repeating motifs, and in this case, the repeating pattern comprises tiny birds, woven in weft-float brocading on an ivory cotton background. Shiraki like this one, are rare.
Size: 2.13m x 1.68m (7' 0" x 5' 6").

Antique Timuri Prayer-Rug, Timuri Tribes, Borderlands of ...

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This Timuri 'namazlyk' (prayer-rug) is as good as they come! Made circa 1870-1880, the central field incorporates the 'Dokhtar-e-Qazi' shrub and it's possible that this prayer-rug was made by the Dokhtar-e-Qazi sub-tribe. The light areas throughout the rug are knotted in magenta silk which suggests this prayer-rug was made for a very important person within the tribe - possibly the chief himself! This rug incorporates 'trees-of-life' in the upper hand-panels and it retains its original flat-woven skirts at each end.
The rug is in excellent overall condition and pieces like this today in the world marketplace are very rare.
Size: 1.53m x 1.26m (5' 0" x 4' 2").

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

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Five golden yellow octagonal 'guls' incorporating '8-pointed stars', dominate the lustrous, glossy wool field of this extraordinary half saddle-bag, made by Timuri tribes around 1870-1880 on the borderlands of eastern Persia and western Afghanistan. The natural colours are fabulous and it has to be seen to be fully appreciated. What is very interesting symbolically, and you have to observe this carefully, is the depiction of male/female imagery pointing upwards and downwards towards the central gul. So here we might have the young weaver creating something for her dowry in the hope, eventually, for lots of children!
Size: 70cm x 70cm (2' 3" x 2' 3").

Antique Perepidal Rug, Perepidal Region, Eastern Caucasus. ...

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This is a most unusual Perepidal rug with its two floral symbols in the central, glowing, indigo-blue field. Around the large flowers are very stylised birds which can be seen in the close-up photos. Other than this rare field design, the borders are typically from the region of Perepidal and the natural colours, including the fabulous sky-blue, are just magnificent.
This rug probably dates to the last quarter of the 19th century and is in excellent condition.
Size: 1.95m x 1.40m (6' 5" x 4' 7").

Antique Turkmen Engsi, Yomut Tribe, Trans-Caspian Steppes, ...

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Engsis were made as door-hangings and hung at the entrance to the Turkmen yurt. This magnificent engsi is complete with stunning 'elems' or skirts at the bottom depicting 'trees-of-life'. The central cross divides the field into the symbolic four gardens of Paradise. Turkmen belief is that the elems symbolised the gateway to Paradise or often referred to as the 'sky door'.
This engsi was made by the Yomut Turkmen no later than 1850 and is an important and very collectible example from this tribe.
Size: 1.62m x 1.40m (5' 4" x 4' 7").

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

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Salt-bags of the Timuri - Sangtschuli tribe are rare as can be seen in this magnificent 19th century namakdan. In excellent condition, the ivory wool plain-weave field of the bag on both faces, depicts powerful symbols - the large, octagonal central lozenge depicting the double-headed Sunbird. The borders are in intricate soumak weave with highlights of silk throughout, possibly indicating that this namakdan was made for a very important person. maybe the chief of this tribe?
Size: 66cm x 48cm (2' 2" x 1' 7").

Antique Qashqa'i Tribal Rug, Shesh Boluki Sub-Tribe, ...

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This magnificent Qashqa'i rug, made by the Shesh Boluki taifeh around 1900, has the most fabulous palette of madder-red in the central field and surrounded by sky-blue spandrels.
In the centre, the sky-blue depicts the Qashqa'i 'scorpion' symbol which is there to keep out live scorpions! During my time in the Qashqa'i black tents sitting on rugs with the scorpion symbol, I can honestly say, sometimes it worked and often it didn't!!
Size: 2.44m x 1.83m (8' 0" x 6' 0").

Antique Bread Sofreh, Afshar Nomads, Kerman Province, ...

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A handsome bread 'sofreh' - a square weaving for kneading the dough on - woven by Afshar nomads in Kerman Province, south Persia, during the first half of the twentieth century.
The sofreh is in near-mint condition, complete with beautifully brocaded sides and tassels symbolising good luck. The sofreh contains a myriad of quadrupeds - possibly deer or gazelle - and depicted on a natural camel-hair background.
Absolutely charming!
Size: 97cm x 92cm (3' 2" x 3' 0").