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 Turkmen Uk Bash (tent-pole bag), Yomut ...

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The Turkmen camel caravan would not only carry the storage bags but would also need to transport the Oy (yurt) itself. This was split up into sections with camels carrying certain parts of the structure. One camel, however, would carry the fifty odd roof rods, which were split evenly into two bundles and tied to each flank with the pointed ends to the rear. These pointed ends were then covered with a long bag called an 'uk bash', which were made in pairs and with long tassels which would swing from side to side as the camel walked, warning the animals and people not to get too close for obvious reasons!
The uk bash were knotted in one piece then brought together and sewn up, leaving an opening at the top through which the pointed struts could be pushed into.
Made by Yomut Turkmen in the trans-Caspian Steppes circa 1880, complete uk bash are now rare and although its partner has long been separated, this fabulous bag is in near perfect condition.
For a similar example, please refer to page 50 in the third edition of my book 'Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent'.
Size: 28cm x 1.09m (11" x 3' 7") including tassels.

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 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 '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.

Rare Antique Turkmen Asmalyk, Yomut-Karadashli tribe, Trans-Caspian ...

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Fabulous colours and a superb early design with shades of ivory, red, blue and turquoise. The turquoise border is fantastic and tiny highlights of cochineal-dye silk appear in the lower-right part of the asmalyk - a very special piece.
A rare asmalyk like this was made by the Karadashli Turkmen during the early 19th century, generally in pairs, and they were used to decorate the flanks of the wedding camel during the wedding procession. Presented to the bride's future husband at the marriage ceremony, he would hang the asmalyks inside the yurt as symbols of power and fertility. This fabulous asmalyk is complete with original tassels and is in excellent full-pile condition.
Size: 1.25m x 0.71m (4' 1" x 2' 4").

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

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Wow - what a rare beauty! Heptagonal asmalyks are rare and here we see a bold and exciting piece made by Yomut Turkmen around 1860. The field drawing is open and well-spaced and the lower 'elem' panel, has beautifully-drawn trees. Made in pairs, asmalyks were made as dowry pieces to decorate the flanks of the wedding camel and afterwards, hung in the yurt as symbols of power and fertility.

Rare Antique Teke Turkmen Asmalyk, Merv Oasis, ...

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A rare 'asmalyk' - a bridal wedding camel trapping - made by Teke tribes in the Merv Oasis of Turkmenistan during the mid 19th century. Asmalyks were made in pairs by the bride and hung on the flanks of the wedding camel during the bride's journey to her wedding ceremony. Symbolically, they represented power and fertility and when presented to the bridegroom as part of the bride's dowry, he would hang them inside the wedding yurt for the rest of their married days. Most asmalyks found on the world market today are from the Yomut Turkmen - those made by the Teke are rare. This stunning asmalyk, which is in excellent condition and complete with tassels, comprises vertical columns of trees known as 'gapyrga' in the Turkmen language.
Illustrated in my third edition 'Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent' on page 45, this is a highly collectible asmalyk.
Size: 60cm x 1.17m (2' 0" x 3' 10").