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

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The Bukcha is shaped like an envelope and was initially made to carry a large loaf of flat-bread which was symbolically important at the wedding ceremony. Afterwards, it was used by the bride for containing her most treasured small possessions. It is woven 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 of the bukcha. Three flaps are sewn together with the upper flap being left loose to act as the opener.
Bukchas are incredibly rare today and were considered as one of the most highly regarded weavings in any Turkmen collection. This fabulous bukcha was made by a young Yomut Turkmen girl in the trans-Caspian Steppes, probably around the third to last quarter of the nineteenth century. Please refer to page 49 in the third edition of my book 'Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent' for a similar example.
Size: 73cm x 73cm (2' 5" x 2' 5").

Antique Turkmen Torba, Kizyl Ayak Tribe, Turkmenistan, ...

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The sumptuous woollen pile in this complete Turkmen 'torba' (small storage bag), is like silk-velvet - soft and glossy! Made by the Kizyl Ayak tribe during the second half of the nineteenth century, the design of two large squares containing what appear to be 'trees', quite similar to the pattern used in the ikats from Samarkand and Bokhara. There is something strongly symbolic going on here - note the tiny botehs within the larger botehs - possibly a fertility symbol.
The natural colours are superb and the bag is complete with its undyed plain-weave back.
Size: 1.04m x 0.51m (3' 5" x 1' 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 1880. 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 Chuval, Teke Tribes, Turkmenistan, Central ...

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The quality of the silky pile, which is in near perfect condition all over, is the very best. The weave too, is exceptionally fine.
Chuvals were usually made in pairs with plain-weave backs, and were used for transporting bedding, clothing and utensils whilst the tribe were on the move. I feel quite certain that the damage in the top left and right corners, was caused by the cords which were attached to the sides of the chuval and took a huge amount of weight during these migratory periods. Made by Teke Turkmen around 1870-1880, this is a beautiful and very collectable example of the best of Teke weaving.
Size: 1.35m x 0.81m (4' 5" x 2' 8").

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 Tent-Band Fragment, Teke Tribes, Turkmenistan, ...

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The incredibly fine knotting in this Turkmen tent-band fragment was probably made by Teke tribes during the 18th century. Once around 40' (12 metres) long, time and wear has taken its toll on this magnificent weaving and today, this is all that remains of part of the complete band.
Tent-bands were never made for sale but made purely for not only decorating the yurt but each panel was of symbolic importance, designating areas within the yurt where certain items were placed and rooms created.
This fragment is rare and mounted on a plain beige-coloured hessian.
Size of frame: 1.02m x 0.38m (3' 4" x 1' 3").

Antique Turkmen Chuval, Teke Tribes, Turkmenistan, Central ...

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Chuvals were storage bags, made in pairs and hung from the flanks of the camels during migrations. This extremely finely knotted and beautiful chuval was made by Teke tribes in Turkmenistan during the third quarter of the nineteenth century and although in very good condition, it does have a restored tear at the very top as can be seen in one of the close-up images and there has been a slight loss to the left and right-side borders. The colours in the close-up photos also show a more accurate colour of natural cochineal-dye. The nine Teke guls are superbly drawn as are the minor guls.
Size: 1.34m x 0.81m (4' 5" x 2' 8").

Antique Turkmen Torba, Ersari Tribes, Middle Amu ...

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The single 'Salor' gul is dominant in the beautiful madder-red ground of this stunning Turkmen torba, made by Ersari tribes in the Middle Amu Darya region of Turkmenistan circa 1870-1880.
Two guls disappear under the borders at each side and bar some slight fading in the centre, the piece is in excellent condition, albeit, with its flat-woven back missing. Nevertheless, this is a very attractive and powerful expression of Ersari weaving.
Size: 1.42m x 0.54m (4' 8" x 1' 9").

Antique Pair of Turkmen 'Dizlyks', Yomut Tribe, ...

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'Dizlyks', were made specifically to wrap round the knobbly knees of the wedding camel during the wedding procession. They were a smaller version of the 'asmalyk', large pentagonal wedding trappings that symbolised power and fertility. The dizlyks undoubtedly had the same symbolic meaning - lots of children, boys to protect the family unit and girls to make lots of rugs and carpets!
These dizlyks are both in exellent condition with original tassels and made by Yomut Turkmen in the trans-Caspian Steppes circa 1900.
The price below is for the pair.
Size of each dizlyk: 38cm x 36cm (1' 3" x 1' 2") including tassels.

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

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This magnificent face of a large storage-bag (chuval) was made by Sariq Turkmen in the Yolatan Oasis, Turkmenistan, during the second half of the nineteenth century. The dark aubergine field contains six major Sariq guls surrounded by minor guls - the magenta-red within each of the guls highlighted in silk. This is a stunning and powerful large weaving and I would say it was probably made for an important member of the Sariq hierarchy because of the incredible fineness of knotting and the use of so much silk. Note the 'dancing ladies' in the upper and lower elems!
The overall condition is excellent bar one tiny moth-eaten area which is easily repairable. Very special!
Size: 1.67m x 1.07m (5' 6" x 3' 6").

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

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Spindle-bags as the name implies, were used to hold wooden spindles for spinning the wool.
This charming bag was made by Yomut Turkmen in the Trans-Caspian Steppes of Turkmenistan around 1890-1900. It is in excellent condition with plain-weave ivory back and original tassels decorating the sides and symbolising 'good luck'.
Size: 53cm x 23cm (1' 9" x 9").

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.