OLD ORIENTAL CARPET

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TRIBAL BAGS Page 3

TRIBAL BAGS are probably the most unspoiled, genuine, weavings of many tribal and pastoral groups throughout Central Asia and North Africa.

They are woven in many shapes and sizes and fulfill the storage function needed in tents and huts.   Small ones are for jewelry and precious personal items, also salt, spices, dried fruits, mirrors and cosmetics.  Medium sizes are pillows at night and cushions by day and are also used to store food, tools, clothing and household items.      There are even very large sacks for the storage of grain and textiles when not in use.  These double as beds for children.

Most bags are woven using only local wools, goat and sometimes camel hair.  Embellishments, both superstitious and religious, are frequent.   Durable goat hair is used for closing loops and for selvedges.

MOROCCAN HIGH ATLAS BERBER CARPET. Prepare for a surprise! Although this looks like a carpet, and can serve as one, it is a giant storage bag. At one end the tying loops are an integral part of the end finish and at the other there is a row of corresponding slits through which the loops will go once the carpet is folded in two. In the small interiors of Berber huts and tents multi-purpose items are often made. When folded and secured as a giant tent bag it would be used for storage of grain or filled with other weavings and serve as a bed at night and a divan for day time seating. This rare piece is from the Ait Bou Ichaoen Berbers in the extreme eastern end of the High Atlas Mountains. A carpet with a similar weave and almost identical colours is shown in `Maroc - Tapis du Tribus` in the section of pages 87 to 96. Ref. 2188. Size (opened) 239 x 150 cms, 7ft 10ins x 5ft. Euros 860.

MOROCCAN HIGH ATLAS BERBER CARPET. Prepare for a surprise! Although this looks like a carpet, and can serve as one, it is a giant storage bag. At one end the tying loops are an integral part of the end finish and at the other there is a row of corresponding slits through which the loops will go once the carpet is folded in two. In the small interiors of Berber huts and tents multi-purpose items are often made. When folded and secured as a giant tent bag it would be used for storage of grain or filled with other weavings and serve as a bed at night and a divan for day time seating. This rare piece is from the Ait Bou Ichaoen Berbers in the extreme eastern end of the High Atlas Mountains. A carpet with a similar weave and almost identical colours is shown in `Maroc - Tapis du Tribus` in the section of pages 87 to 96. Ref. 2188. Size (opened) 239 x 150 cms, 7ft 10ins x 5ft. FOLDED OVER AND SECURED FOR USE AS A STORAGE BAG.

KURDISH SINGLE TENT BAG. A rare semi-antique example from the Quchan Kurds of north east Persia. They inhabit the land between Meshed and the border with Turkmenistan. The excellent text book "Kordi" by Wilfried Stanzer gives exhaustive information on their rugs, kilim and artifacts. An extremely finely woven example, which was probably a dowry piece and subsequently used to store jewellery, complete with original back. Reference 286. Size 45 x 47cms, 1ft 6ins x 1ft 7ins, Euros 350.

KURDISH SINGLE TENT BAG. A rare semi-antique example from the Quchan Kurds of north east Persia. They inhabit the land between Meshed and the border with Turkmenistan. The excellent text book "Kordi" by Wilfried Stanzer gives exhaustive information on their rugs, kilim and artifacts. An extremely finely woven example, which was probably a dowry piece and subsequently used to store jewellery, complete with original back. Reference 286. Size 45 x 47cms, 1ft 6ins x 1ft 7ins. CLOSE UP.

ANTIQUE LURI BAG FACE in excellent condition and with the original fastening system still intact at the top. It has soft natural colours and the wool has a lustrous sheen. There are a few knots of a particular green shade which is used by weavers of Abadeh, some villages near Isfahan and also the Bachtiaris. Reference 2978. Size 51 x 47 cms., or 20 x 19 ins. Euros 145.

CLOSE UP of the floral design in the centre.

BALOUCH/BELOUCH small and very finely woven double sided bag which was probably used as a "Chanteh" or small container for jewelry and other precious items. It is from the western border region of Afghanistan. The four small rectangular designs in the centre of both sides are woven in silk and the bindings on the tassels are also silk. In the wonderful textbook "Rugs of the Wandering Baluchi" there are two similar pieces shown on plates 35 and 36. Reference 3092. Size 33 x 39 cms., or 13 x 15 inches. Euros 65.

CLOSE UP of one of the piled sides showing silk highlights.

MANY RUG DEALERS in the Medinas have a few bags and artifacts lying in untidy piles at the back of their rooms. I always look at them all, and sometimes find a treasure.

WOVEN ARTIFACTS OF A DIFFERENT TYPE in the market. The Berbers are skilled weavers of all sorts of items.

MOROCCAN MIDDLE ATLAS BERBER PILLOW woven by a small Berber group called Beni Mtir. The front design is most unusual, as is the back which is of flat woven kilim with three embroidered stylized trees. Ref. 2228. Size 76 x 36cms, 2ft 6ins x 1ft 2ins, Euros 150.

MOROCCAN MIDDLE ATLAS BERBER PILLOW woven by a small Berber group called Beni Mtir. The front design is most unusual, as is the back which is of flat woven kilim with three embroidered stylized trees. Ref. 2228. Size 76 x 36cms, 2ft 6ins x 1ft 2ins. REVERSE.

RAJESTHAN CUSHION/PILLOW which has a simple, colorful depiction of floral forms. Reference 2809. Size 38 x 28 cms., or 15 x 11 ins. Euros 25.

EACH SIDE has a different design. The cushion will be emptied to aid shipping.

ANATOLIAN TENT BAG A small and rare bag woven by pastoral Yoruk people in western Anatolia. It is called locally "oklawali" and is used to store items for bread making, especially the rolling pin. The same wools that have been used to create the design on both front and back have been used at the end of the tassels and the colours appear to be natural. The design shows minimal wear at the bottom right corner which is commensurate with having been used. A fascinating and collectable piece. Reference 2637. Size 17 x 40cms. 7in. x 15in. Euros 195.

ANATOLIAN TENT BAG A small and rare bag woven by pastoral Yoruk people in western Anatolia. It is called locally "oklawali" and is used to store items for bread making, especially the rolling pin. The same wools that have been used to create the design on both front and back have been used at the end of the tassels and the colours appear to be natural. The design shows minimal wear at the bottom right corner which is commensurate with having been used. A fascinating and collectable piece. Reference 2637. Size 17 x 40cms. 7in. x 15in. CLOSE UP.

BELOUCH / BALUCH STORAGE BAG. A very old and rare example from the Belouch / Baluch group who live in the Pakistan province of Baluchistan which joins southern Afghanistan. The top consists of a lattice weave of goat hair which, when opened, is used for the storage of small items, such as plates or cups. When the owners travel the netting is fastened at the top. The tassels are of wool and are adorned with cowrie shells and beads which simulate flowers. The embroidery is exceptional and the vibrant colours are in silk. There is a similar example in “Textiles of Baluchistan” by M.G. Konieczny on page 73, plate 46. He attributes it to the region of Chagai. Reference 2318. Size 52 x 16cms. 1ft.9in x 6in. Euros 286.

BELOUCH / BALUCH STORAGE BAG. A very old and rare example from the Belouch / Baluch group who live in the Pakistan province of Baluchistan which joins southern Afghanistan. The top consists of a lattice weave of goat hair which, when opened, is used for the storage of small items, such as plates or cups. When the owners travel the netting is fastened at the top. The tassels are of wool and are adorned with cowrie shells and beads which simulate flowers. The embroidery is exceptional and the vibrant colours are in silk. There is a similar example in “Textiles of Baluchistan” by M.G. Konieczny on page 73, plate 46. He attributes it to the region of Chagai. Reference 2318. Size 52 x 16cms. 1ft.9in x 6in. CLOSE UP.

MOROCCAN HIGH ATLAS CUSHION / PILLOW which is an excellent example of its kind and is Berber work from the eastern High Atlas. The tassel work is exceptional and is plaited from the same wool as that used in the pillow. Berber weaving from this region has been discovered comparatively recently. The outstanding text book "Ait Bou Ichaouen" by Alfred and Suzanne Saulniers shows results of extensive original field work. On Plate 87 there is a wedding blanket from Talsint which has, in part, very similar construction and identical colours. This cushion was probably part of a dowry and can form part of an interesting collection. Reference 2309. Size 40 x 65cms. 1ft.4in. x 2ft.2in. REVERSE.

MOROCCAN HIGH ATLAS CUSHION / PILLOW which is an excellent example of its kind and is Berber work from the eastern High Atlas. The tassel work is exceptional and is plaited from the same wool as that used in the pillow. Berber weaving from this region has been discovered comparatively recently. The outstanding text book "Ait Bou Ichaouen" by Alfred and Suzanne Saulniers shows results of extensive original field work. On Plate 87 there is a wedding blanket from Talsint which has, in part, very similar construction and identical colours. This cushion was probably part of a dowry and can form part of an interesting collection. Reference 2309. Size 40 x 65cms. 1ft.4in. x 2ft.2in. Euros 155. FIRST SIDE.

REVERSE SIDE showing simple trees. The extra length of the kilim at the back is most unusual and may have been used as a flap to cover the opening of the bag.

BERBER TENT BAG/PILLOW. Although woven in one long piece before being folded in half and stitched to make a bag or pillow, seldom can two sides have such different designs. The face is intricately embroidered and the use of green pinpoints the origin to a small Berber group in the western Middle Atlas. The reverse side, or back, is a simplistic portrayal of line of trees. The piece is very old but in good condition. Reference 2951. Size 72 x 38 cms., or 28 x 15 ins. Euros 78.

MOROCCAN BERBER CEREMONIAL BELT. This originates from the deep south of the country and is a finely plaited belt, decorated with charms and embroidered in cotton and silk. The two ends are very attractive. See `Splendeurs du Maroc` - Musee Royal de l`Afrique Centrale, 1998, pages 180 and 208 for information on ropes and belts. Ref. 1950. Size 400 cms. 13ft.2in. long. CLOSE UP.

BALOUCH / BELOUCH BAG. A piece to enhance a serious collection. It is from the Salor Khani sub-group and dates from the early 20th century. It is soft and supple with glowing colours. There is some corrosion in the black and a little understandable wear in the bottom corners. Two goat hair hanging loops form part of the original overcasting and there are two areas in the field that are piled with camel hair. This type of bag very seldom appears and I know of only two others since 2007. Reference 2374. Size 69 x 72cms. 2ft.3in. x 2ft.4in. Euros 275.