Antique Khamseh Confederacy Rug, Baharlu Sub-Tribe, Fars ...

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The Khamseh Confederacy and Qashqa'i tribes love of chickens can be seen in this beautiful and early rug from the Baharlu tribe, made circa 1870.
Very finely knotted with a low-cut pile, the indigo-blue field comprises three central lozenges and a field full of stylised chickens!
A stunning and highly collectable rug from this group of weavings.
Size: 1.90m x 1.20m (6' 3" x 4' 0")

Antique Chondzoresk Rug, Karabagh Region, Southern Caucasus. ...

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Chondzoresk can be attributed to a village in the north-west area of Karabagh, once part of the north-west Safavid province of Azerbaijan. The area once had a large Armenian population and its capital, Shusha, is believed to have been the source of some of the great early Caucasian rugs, in particular, the 'dragon' rugs.
This magnificent rug from Chondzoresk depicts two large lozenges on a beautiful madder-red field, each with the 'S' symbols or 'dragons'. The small central square in each of the lozenges has the so-called swastika - ironically an ancient symbol of protection. The red ground has a number of stylised creatures including the double-headed sun-dog, symbolising the guardians of the gates of Paradise.
A most stunning and powerfully symbolic rug in very good condition.
Size: 2.29m x 1.35m (7' 6" x 4' 5").

Antique Qashqa'i Tribal Rug, Rahimlu Sub-Tribe, Fars ...

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Just in, this beautiful, full lustrous pile Qashqa'i tribal rug was probably made by the Rahimlu sub-tribe or 'taifeh'. It has a rather obscure date in the upper-left of the top lozenge which might read 1320 in the Islamic calendar and which translates, quitye accurately, to 1902 in the Solar calendar.
The indigo-blue field contains a myriad of small stylised flowers, popular with the Rahimlu nomads and at the very base, stlised fish, symbols of happiness. In the centre are two stylised 'trees of life' and just below-left of the cetral lozenge can be seen a stylised human form - quite obviously a male from the close-up!!
This rug was recently discovered hanging on the wall of an old English country house and after deep-washing, the soft, lustrous wool and natural colours are now glowing.
Size: 2.80m x 1.53m (9' 2" x 5' 0").

AntiquBag-Face, Timuri Tribes, Borderlands of North-East Persia ...

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A rare and early bag-face depicting four cockerels in the central panel and made by Timuri tribes circa 1860 in the borderlands of north-eastern Persia and north-western Afghanistan.
Once part of double saddle-bags, at some point in the past, these bag-faces were cut from the original saddle-bags where dealers found it easier and more lucrative, to separate them, sadly! At least this bag-face has been preserved!
I love the way the weaver has moved the ivory outlining to the left of the lower-left cockerel in order not to cut into its beak. Quite charming and spontaneous in a tribal way. Subtle natural colours were used throughout with an amazing teal being used in two of the birds and elsewhere in this remarkable weaving.
A very collectable and early example of Timuri work.
Size: 56cm x 74cm (1' 10" x 2' 5").

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

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Searching through uninteresting rug auction sites and being offered so many boring commercial rugs these days, what a joy it is, very occasionally, to find an exciting antique rug, bag or a magnificent bread sofreh like this one! This is what I love about 'the find'! It doesn't happen every day, week or month, but when it does, it makes me very happy.
I found this stunning flat-weave sofreh - originally used by the nomads for kneading dough on to make the delicious flat-bread - in a tiny little, mainly modern rug store in Istanbul recently. Not a shop I would have normally entered but a quick glance into the shop revealed this beautiful weaving displayed on the wall!
I had to have it and a deal was done! As much as I'd like to keep it, I can't keep everything so here it is.
The spontaneous drawing and mix of blues, reds and yellow in the zig-zags and the charming little stars around the outside, remind me of the night sky.
Made by Afshar nomads in Kerman province, south Persia circa 1910-1920, all the colours are natural and it is complete with beautifully brocaded ends.
Oh well, at least I can enjoy it while it lasts!!
Size: 1.25 x 1.15m (4' 1" x 3' 9").

Antique Khamseh Confederacy Carpet, Baharlu Tribe, Fars ...

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Made circa 1870 by the Baharlu taifeh of the Khamseh Confederacy in Fars, south-west Persia, this extremely fine and rare carpet is in very good overall condition albeit with evenly-low pile. The three central flower-heads are surrounded by the 'herati' pattern throughout, symbolising two fish swimming around water-lilies.
The natural colours are vibrant as is the main border design depicting a continouos vine symbolising the eternal cycle of life. The carpet needs to be seen to fully appreciate the fineness of design and quality of the colours.
Size: 3.20m x 1.93m (10' 6" x 6' 4").

Antique Corridor Runner, Baluch Tribes of Zabol, ...

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How often does one come across an antique runner, never mind a Baluch runner these days?
Not only a runner but an amazingly narrow runner!! Only 52cm wide! This is truly a rare find!
Made by Baluch tribes in the Zabol area of Sistan Province, south-east Persia circa 1880, this runner is in excellent overall condition and ready to lay in a narrow hallway. The glowing brown-red ground is divided into nine Turkmen 'tshemtshe' guls, often used by the Sistani Baluch in their weavings. Particulary attractive, is the use of a beautiful green in the inner and outer borders as well as being complete with its flatweave and brocaded skirts each end.
Size: 3.05m x 0.52m (10' 0" x 1' 8").

Antique Pillow-Bagface, Kordi Tribes, Quchan Region, Khorassan ...

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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 and I have just noticed that there are tiny areas of silk knotting!
Made by Kordi tribes in the Quchan region of Khorassan Province during the last quarter of the 19th century, this stunning weaving is in very good pile condition.
Size: 77cm x 38cm (2' 6" x 1' 3").

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 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").