When travelling through the traditional weaving countries buying rugs and textiles, it is impossible to ignore the incredible old artifacts and the wonderful traditional artisanal  skills. Here is a selection of items I could not resist.

I recently discovered a previously unknown cache of antique ceramic underglaze tiles which had been lying in an old warehouse in Malaga for the past 30 years. They have been accurately identified as the work of the Master Cermacist Azim Cini and were hand made, hand painted and fired in the Fabrika in the western Turkish town of Kutahya, circa 1920. The maker signs most of his work, usually in the centre of the bottom border. Most of the tiles measure 20 cms., or 8 inches, square and panels of various sizes are assembled from them. Additional shaped tiles are made for borders and special uses such as fireplace surrounds. In 1919 as the Ottoman Empire was crumbling many of the ceramic makers from Kutahya were recruited to carry out major renovations to the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. Many stayed on. All the tiles have been cleaned gently, thoroughly checked and are now packed in custom made boxes for storage and shipment. Their original boxes were on the verge of collapse when I found them.

Small panels for use as table tops or wall mountings made up from 6 tiles. Available singly. Reference 3049. Size 60 x 40 cms., or 24 x 16 inches. Euros 275 each.

Matching pair of panels each made from 32 tiles. Very versatile size with several display and use options. available singly. Reference 3054 and 3055. Size 130 x 86 cms., or 52 x 27 inches. Euros 400 each. SOLD.

Long panel assembled from 192 tiles. Reference 3056. Size 480 x 160 cms., or 15ft. 9ins. x 5ft. 3ins. Euros 4200.

Magnificent fire place surround which consists of several sections for ease of mounting. Reference 3057. Size 301 x 160 cms., or 10ft. x 5ft. 4ins. Euros 2850. SOLD.

Versatile panel of 32 tiles with several options for use and display. Signature of Azim Cini in the bottom border. Reference 3000. Size 130 x 82 cms., or 54 x 27 inches. Euros 400.

Exquisite large panel of 84 tiles plus borders. Reference 3058. Size 260 x 160 cms., or 8ft. 7ins. x 5ft. 4ins. Euros 2000. SOLD.

It was impossible to photograph this huge panel which consists of 997 individual tiles. It measures 10,4 x 2.4 metres or 34 x 8 feet. It is probably the largest single antique ceramic panel available today. It can be sub divided into several separate panels. THIS PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS ONLY 10% OF THE WHOLE PANEL. WHOLE PANEL Euros 14,000. Can be sub-divided into smaller panels.

The boxes as I found them gave no clue to the treasures inside. One end had been propped up by an equally abandoned bicycle which certainly prevented many boxes crashing down.

Versatile panel of 32 tiles with several options for use and display. Signature of Azim Cini in the bottom border. Reference 3069. Size 130 x 82 cms., or 54 x 27 inches. Euros 400.

Versatile panel of 32 tiles with several options for use and display. Signature of Azim Cini in the bottom border. Reference 3071. Size 130 x 82 cms., or 54 x 27 inches. Euros 400.

Versatile panel of 32 tiles with several options for use and display. Signature of Azim Cini in the bottom border. Reference 3070. Size 130 x 82 cms., or 54 x 27 inches. Euros 400.

ANTIQUE COPPER FOOD CARRIER. This is the antique version of today's vacuum flask. The bowl is made of hand beaten copper and the lid is very tight fitting. The closing clasp is substantial and closes firmly. The copper allowed food to be kept hot. It is the tradition in some Middle East countries and as far as India for wives to prepare hot food for their husbands then take it to work at lunch times and this was the purpose of the bowl. It is hinged and the two halves open up - why not do this and use each half to display a different fruit. I think you may safely proclaim that you are unique if you do. Reference 2990. Diameter 24 cms., or 10 inches. Euros 100.

ANTIQUE COPPER SHALLOW BOWL with an intricate hand beaten garden design in the centre. The small centre circle is filled with individual flowers, the next outer circle portrays rows of Berber tents and beyond them is a circle of large trees. A beautiful artisanal work. Reference 2991. Diameter 24 cms., or 10 inches. Euros 55.

ANTIQUE COPPER SERVING PLATE which dates from the latter part of the 19th century. It is made of hand beaten copper, is heavy, and has an intricate central design. The shaped edge is very unusual. Reference 2992. Diameter 35 cms., or 14 inches. Euros 65.

ANTIQUE INDO/PERSIAN BRASS DISPLAY POT decorated with enamel and having a very intricate floral motif all around the circumference. Reference 2993. Height 36 cms., or 14 inches. Euros 100.

ANTIQUE INDO/PERSIAN FLUTE VASE handcrafted in heavy brass and having delicate enamel floral designs for the complete length from top opening to round base. Late 19th century. Reference 2994. Height 35 cms., or 14 inches. Euros 100.

ANTIQUE MOROCCAN KETTLE for use on an open fire. Homes throughout Morocco had these and they survive today in many rural areas. The vessel is of copper which has excellent heat retaining qualities and the designs are hand beaten. The handle is of heavy brass. Add character and history to your kitchen display with this 19th century piece. Reference 2995. Height 28 cms., or 11 inches. Euros 90.

LATE 19TH CENTURY BRASS SERVING PLATTER with delicate and intricate hand beaten designs. Trays of this type were made by craftsmen in Fes and used throughout Morocco. It is a tribute to their quality and craftmanship that they survive today. They make stylish, and useful, contributions to our modern kitchen decor as a reminder of the past. Reference 2997. Diameter 39 cms., or 19 inches. Euros 85.

ANTIQUE BRASS SERVING PLATTER FROM FES. The workmanship of this large platter is exceptional and all hand beaten. The centre is dominated by the Star of Mohammed surrounded by intricate forms. The ring of holes around the inner edge is most unusual as are the scalloped outer edges, each of which is embellished with a flower. Masterful workmanship. A useful and stylish addition to interior decor. Reference 2998. Diameter 38 cms., or 15 inches. Euros 110

VINTAGE CAIRENE TABLE TOP. Intricate yet heavy trays such as this were hand crafted and beaten in Cairo during the first half of the 20th century. They served as circular tops for small tables and were used in stylish homes and restaurants for the service of traditional small glasses of tea and coffee. They make intruiging side tables, platters and wall hangings today in our interior design schemes. Reference 2996. Diameter 59 cms., or 24 inches. Euros 250.

ANTIQUE CERAMIC TILES - a pair from the famous workshop of Azim Cini in the town of Kutahya in western Turkey, early 20th century. Reference 3001. Size, 17 cms., or 7 inches across. Euros 20 each.

ANTIQUE COPPER TRAY/PLATTER which is a very large size and would have served as a central food dish for a large family meal. It dates from the last half of the 19th century and the exceptional hand beaten design suggests a Persian origin. There are several depictions of the leaf design known as the "Boteh" which originated in India in the 17th century and is widely used in Persian and Kashmiri artifacts and textiles. Reference 2999. Diameter 78 cms., or 31 inches. Euros 220.

ANTIQUE MOROCCAN COFFEE POT hand made with a mixture of copper and brass and having a design of twelve flowers on the sides. The pot was part of the kitchen ware in the Castillo de Bil Bil whch was built as an Arab Cultural Center on the sea front of the Andalucian town of Benalmadena from 1920 to 1927. It is an elegant piece. Reference 2988. Height 37 cms., or 15 inches. Euros 80.

MOROCCAN BERBER WOODEN NUTCRACKER. Rural Berbers use many of the natural resources to make items for their own use. These nutcrackers are hand carved from solid cedar wood and consist of two pieces, the lower one is fitted through a hole in the handle of the upper piece. They are exceptionally strong and are the work of the Berbers of the High Atlas region of Ouaouzguite. A similar type is shown as plate 20f in the textbook "Tazenacht", page 46. Reference 2687. Size 20cms., or 8ins. long. Euros 90.

MOROCCAN CERAMIC BOWL This antique container was used to store finely ground powders which Berber women use as fragrances. Its impeccable condition suggests it was used sparingly. Ceramic bowls are an important part of Berber life and many have one particular function which is often indicated by the shape. The text book "Splendeurs du Maroc" published by Musee Royal de l'Afrique Centrale in 1998 has very detailed information on this type of work. Reference 2591. Size 15cms. 6ins. high. Euros 85.

MOROCCAN COPPER ARTIFACT. A late 19th century hand made small copper pot complete with handle and was probably the work of Jewish craftsmen in Marrakech. See `Splendeurs du Maroc` - Musee Royal de l`Afrique Centrale 1998 page 42. Reference 2043. Size approx.14cms, 6ins, high. Euros 85.

MOROCCAN BRASS AND COPPER KETTLE. A well used, early 20th century piece. It was made by artisans in Marrakech and would have been used in a wealthy home to keep hot water for the traditional mint tea. The surface has a beautiful patina. Reference 2379. Size 34cms. 1ft.2in. high. Euros 90.

A COLLECTION OF THREE BERBER SPOONS, hand carved from hard wood. They are very old and are from a Berber group living in the extreme southern region of Morocco known as the Pre-Sahara. There are illutrations and details of this type of spoon in the text book "Tazenacht", pages 45 and 46. References 2413, 2414, 2415, sizes 33, 32 and 21 cms., or 13, 12 and 9 ins. Euros 48 for three pieces

TUAREG WOODEN ARTIFACT which although found in southern Morocco had arrived from Mauritania. It is hand carved from one piece of wood and the elegant handle indicates that it would have used as a ladle or a measure. The outside of the bowl has finely carved designs. Reference 2594. Size 20cms. 8in. long. Euros 85.

MOROCCAN WOODEN CHEST / ARTIFACT which is beautifully made from thuya wood. Thuya is a low growing conifer unique to the western part of Morocco and has been used for wooden items since Roman times. It is resinous and makes a wonderful base for lacquer. The design is of the ramparts of the Portuguese-built fort finished in 1506 which defends the harbour at Essaouria. The cannons depicted were made in Holland in 1744. The Portuguese built 6 fortifications along the western Moroccan coast and parts of this one are still standing today. Wooden chests and much information can be found in `Splendeurs du Maroc - Musee Royal de LÀfrique Centrale, 1998`on pages 360/362. Ref. 2238. Size 60 x 43 x 31 cms. 24 x 17 x 13 inches. Euros 425.

MOROCCAN BERBER ARTIFACTS. A collection of three small hand carved, hand painted, probably cedar wood bowls. They are used by Tuaregs to store saffron. Similar pieces are shown in “Splendeurs du Maroc” on page 345. Reference 2270, 2271 and 2272. Size all approximately 5cms. - 2ins. - high. Euros 45 for 3.

MOROCCAN BERBER ARTIFACTS which are hand carved, hand painted, wooden pots for the storage of kohl, a cosmetic widely used for eyes. The lids are used to apply the kohl. Similar pieces are shown in “Splendeurs du Maroc” on page 345. Reference 2273, 2274 and 2275. Size all approximately 7cms., 3in. Euros 45 for 3.

MOROCCAN BERBER ARTIFACT. A large hand carved, cedar wood pot for the storage of saffron. A similar piece is shown in “Splendeurs du Maroc” on page 345. Reference 2269. Size 8cms. high - 3ins. high. Euros 40.

MOROCCAN TUAREG WOODEN BOWL. This dates from the late 19th century and is Tuareg work from the northern Sahara. See `Splendeurs du Maroc` - Musee Royal de l`Afrique Centrale, 1998, page 43. Reference 2058. Size 28cms, 11ins, diameter. Euros 65.

PERSIAN ARTIFACT A wonderful example of hand beaten and hand made work by Persian craftsmen. This water jug would have been for use in a city house. The lid, surmounted by a bird, is particularly attractive and the piece dates from the first half, 20th century. Ref. 1976. Size 54 cms, 1ft 10ins, high. Euros 325.

INDIAN BRASS RITUAL POTS - a pair of antique pots for dispensing water during ritual ceremonies. Both are intricately and beautifully designed, one with a row of Hindu Gods and the other with extravagent peacocks. Although these date from the very early 20th century pots of this nature were in use during the Mughal period which ended in the 1850s. Reference 2816 and 2817. Size 9cms., or 4 ins high. Euros 65 each.