Antique Khorjin (saddle-bags), Bakhtiari Tribes, The Chahar ...

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Just acquired from a private collection, this beautiful, complete Bakhtiari khorjin (saddle-bags), woven in soumak technique in the Chahar Mahal region of western Persia at the end of the nineteenth century. This khorjin was originally sourced in Iran in the 1940s by a man who travelled into Bakhtiari territory buying rugs and bags from the nomads. The khorjin is in near-mint condition with its original ties and lappits and knotted-pile base at the bottom of each bag. The back is woven in plain-weave technique with narrow horizontal bands of reds and blues.
Size: 1.15m x 0.56m (3' 9" x 1' 10").

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

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This is one of the earliest types of design found on bags knotted by the Timuri tribes during the early 19th century. Once part of a double saddlebag, bag-faces like this are extremely rare.
The colours are beautifully saturated with highlights of an early aubergine colour and the four central panels contain pre-Islamic symbols, lost in the passage of time.
Very collectible.
Size:- 59cm x 46cm (2' 0" x 1' 6").

Antique Large Khorjin, Qashqa'i - Darrehshuri Tribe, ...

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I love this khorjin (saddle-bags) with its twill-weave which reminds me of my Scottish tartans!
Made by Darrehshuri- Qashqa'i nomads around 1900, the bags are complete and in near-perfect condition. Throughout the twill-weave, note the small knotted-pile tufts, inserted by the weaver to symbolise good-luck. The sides of both bags are braided using goat-hair for resilience.
This is an amazingly beautiful khorjin I have to say.
Size: 1.09m x 0.79m (3' 7" x 2' 7").

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

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Woven in soumak technique, this stunning little 'chanteh' (vanity-bag) was made by Afshar nomads around 1900. Bags like this were highly-prized possessions amongst the nomads - for their own use only and never intended for sale or commercialism.
The front face of this chanteh consists of various stylised birds and animals - at the very top, a stylised peacock symbolising divine immortality and prosperity. The back of the bag comprises horizontal panels containing symbols - very meaningful to the nomadic woman who made this bag but lost in the passage of time!
The bag is in excellent condition with original selvedges, bound in different colours.
Little bags of this high quality today, are extremely rare with most being in private collections. This chanteh has just come out of a private UK collection where it has been treasured for many years.
Size: 26cm 23cm (10" x 9").

Antique Qalyandan (spindle-bag), Timuri - Sangtschuli Tribe, ...

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This amazing spindle-bag ('qalyandan' in Persian) was woven in soumak technique by Timuri - Sangtschuli nomads in the borderlands of eastern Persia and western Afghanistan around 1870-1880. It is illustrated in my third edition of 'Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent' on page 97, is in excellent, complete condition and retains its original goat-hair braided cord for transporting the bag. The Sangtschuli tribe produced some of the very finest soumak weavings up until the end of the nineteenth century and this bag certainly ranks at the top.
Size: 49cm x 23cm (1' 7" x 9").

Antique Balisht, Kizyl Bash Tribes of Varamin, ...

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This beautiful knotted-pile weaving was once a pillow-bag ('balisht' in Persian) albeit now without its plain-weave back. The juxtaposition and natural colour of birds-heads lozenges is simply stunning and this has to be seen to be fully appreciated. The remains of the madder-red plain-weave back can be seen at one end.
Made by Kizyl Bash tribes in the Varamin region during the last quarter of the 19th century, the piece is in superb condition.
Size: 77cm x 38cm (2' 6" x 1' 3").

Antique Saddlebag Face, Jaf Kurds, 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").

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").

Antique Balisht (pillow-bag), Timuri Tribes, Borderlands of ...

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Dark but seriously beautiful, the wool quality in this 'balisht' (pillow-bag) could easily be mistaken for silk. It has to be handled to appreciate the fine and superior quality of the wool.
Pillow-bags, as the name implies, were used for placing the head on during sleep, and therefore they had to be made from the highest quality sheep's wool. This balisht is as good as they get!
The indigo-blue field contains a symbolic 'tree-of-life' rising up from the underworld through the earthly realms to the world of the spirit. In the centre can be seen a small. light-coloured diamond or 'eye'. This is knotted in silk and I can only imagine that this pillow-bag was made for a very important person within the tribe. The close-up photos show the true intensity of the indigo-blue.
Sadly missing its flat-woven back, this balisht is in excellent condition, made by Timuri tribes on the borderlands of eastern Persia and western Afghanistan in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Size: 76cm x 43cm (2' 6" x 1' 5").

Antique Vanity-Bag, Bakhtiari Tribes, The Chahar Mahal, ...

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Vanity-bags - 'chanteh' in Persian - were made by women for their use only and were never intended for sale commercially. This charming tiny chanteh was woven by Bakhtiari nomads during the last quarter of the nineteenth century - the face in soumak technique and the back, with its depiction of four deer or gazelle, in warp-face technique. The base of the bag, as was done with the larger Bakhtiari storage-bags and saddle-bags, is in knotted-pile for resilience. Note the old buckle sewn into the top left corner! This would have had a braided cord wrapped around it originally, and used for carrying the bag. The large double-headed sunbird on its side on the face of the bag, is there symbolically, for protecting the contents, which might have included a mirror, jewellery and coins.
Tiny chantehs made by the Bakhtiari are rare these days and very collectable.
Size: 20cm x 19cm (8" x 7").

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

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This lovely little vanity-bag - 'chanteh' - has beautiful soft, glossy wool and depicts a small symbolic lozenge in the centre surrounded by stylised flower-heads. The back has narrow horizontal bands of colour in plain-weave technique and the bag is complete and in excellent condition. Made by Afshar nomads in Kerman province, south Persia around 1900.
Size: 25cm x 20cm (10" x 8")

Antique Kurdish Half Saddle-Bag, Jaf Sub Tribe, ...

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This chunky half saddle-bag, with its superb array of natural dyes, was made by Jaf Kurds in Kurdistan, during the second half of the nineteenth century. The bag retains its plain-weave back in narrow horizontal bands of colour, albeit with the loss of the top part of the back.
Nevertheless, this is a great example of the bags made by the Jaf tribe in the nineteenth century.
Size: 76cm x 64cm (2' 6" x 2' 1").