WOVEN BAGS AND ARTIFACTS 1

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WOVEN BAGS AND ARTIFACTS 1.

IN ADDITION TO PILED RUGS and flat weaves the Berbers of the Moroccan mountain ranges weave many artifacts for use in their homes. Among the most numerous are rectangular weavings which are folded in half and stitched and then become cushions and pillows. A small opening is left on a long side sufficient for various fillings to be inserted by hand. Bags of all sizes range from the tiny which contain precious items of jewellery, spices or dried fruit to the huge which are filled with grain.

Saddle bags for transport of goods by horse or donkey are common.

Finely woven bags are still made as dowry pieces.

Many items of clothing are woven for both every day, ceremonies and special occasions.

Please send any questions or enquiries to me at ldrowcroft@gmail.com

MOROCCAN MIDDLE ATLAS BERBER BAG / PILLOW which is from the region of Marmoucher and is a very old, soft and supple example. The design is extremely intricate and fine on both front and back. The portrayal of 3 rows of flowers on the face are knotted in mercerised cotton and there are 2 embroidered panels in the centre medallions which are silk. This is in perfect condition. Reference 2638. Size 80 x 39cms. 2ft.8in. x 1ft.3in. Euros 210.

MOROCCAN MIDDLE ATLAS BERBER BAG / PILLOW which is from the region of Marmoucher and is a very old, soft and supple example. The design is extremely intricate and fine on both front and back. The portrayal of 3 rows of flowers on the face are knotted in mercerised cotton and there are 2 embroidered panels in the centre medallions which are silk. This is in perfect condition. Reference 2638. Size 80 x 39cms. 2ft.8in. x 1ft.3in. BACK.

MOROCCAN BERBER HEAD DRESS which is for a young girl and is called "Bonnet d`enfant". These precious pieces form part of the dress for ceremonial occasions and this one originates from Berbers in the High Atlas mountain region of Ait Ouaouzguite, south of Marrakech. Similar pieces can be seen in "Splendeurs du Maroc", plate 278, page 208, and "Taznacht" plate 65, page 77. Reference 2692, size 41 x 21 cms., or 16 ins x 9 ins. Euros 135.

MOROCCAN BERBER HEAD DRESS which is for a young girl and is called "Bonnet d`enfant". These precious pieces form part of the dress for ceremonial occasions and this one originates from Berbers in the High Atlas mountain region of Ait Ouaouzguite, south of Marrakech. Similar pieces can be seen in "Splendeurs du Maroc", plate 278, page 208, and "Taznacht" plate 65, page 77. Reference 2692, size 41 x 21 cms., or 16 ins. x 9 ins. CLOSE UP.

MOROCCAN MIDDLE ATLAS BERBER BAG / PILLOW from the Ait Arfa sub-group. The designs are crisp and clear and accentuated by the use of fine white cotton. It has been in use but is still in excellent condition. There is good information on Berber work of this type, with colour illustrations in "Carpets and Textiles of Morocco" from page 106-111. Reference 2639. Size 64 x 34cms. 2ft.1in. x 1ft.2in. Euros 160.

MOROCCAN MIDDLE ATLAS BERBER BAG / PILLOW from the Ait Arfa sub-group. The designs are crisp and clear and accentuated by the use of fine white cotton. It has been in use but is still in excellent condition. There is good information on Berber work of this type, with colour illustrations in "Carpets and Textiles of Morocco" from page 106-111. Reference 2639. Size 64 x 34cms. 2ft.1in. x 1ft.2in. Euros 160. CLOSE UP OF BACK.

MOROCCAN BERBER MAN'S CAPE. Hand woven from undyed, hand spun wool. This is the work of Berbers in the region of Marmoucher in the Middle Atlas mountains and would have been used by a Berber man, probably a shepherd, for protection against the biting winter cold. These capes are known as "jilaba" and there is good information with colour photos in "Splendeurs du Maroc" pages 155 and 197 and also "North African Textiles" on page 86. This example has very fine and detailed design incorporated in the weave. Reference 2605. Size 160cms. high x 95cms. opened at bottom. 5ft.8in. x 3ft.2in. Euros 390.

MOROCCAN BERBER MAN'S CAPE. Hand woven from undyed, hand spun wool. This is the work of Berbers in the region of Marmoucher in the Middle Atlas mountains and would have been used by a Berber man, probably a shepherd, for protection against the biting winter cold. These capes are known as "jilaba" and there is good information with colour photos in "Splendeurs du Maroc" pages 155 and 197 and also "North African Textiles" on page 86. This example has very fine and detailed design incorporated in the weave. Reference 2605. Size 160cms. high x 95cms. opened at bottom. 5ft.8in. x 3ft.2in. DETAIL OF HOOD.

MOROCCAN BERBER BAG. This shape of bag with its long integrated handle was woven by Berbers in the Ait Ouaouzguite region of the Djebel Siroua which lies between the High and Anti Atlas ranges south of Marrakech. Ref. 1933. Size 177 x 27cms. 5ft.10in. x 1ft. Euros 120.

MOROCCAN BERBER BAG. This shape of bag with its long integrated handle was woven by Berbers in the Ait Ouaouzguite region of the Djebel Siroua which lies between the High and Anti Atlas ranges south of Marrakech. Ref. 1933. CLOSE UP.

MOROCCAN BERBER MIDDLE ATLAS CUSHION / PILLOW Pieces of this type serve as daytime cushions and night time pillows in many Berber dwellings. Most are from the region of Zeymour in the Middle Atlas and have a kilim foundation upon which embroidered designs are added. This is a particularly good example. It is old and could well have been part of a dowry. Reference 2572. Size 82 x 37cms. 2ft.8in. x 1ft.3in. Euros 115.

MOROCCAN BERBER MIDDLE ATLAS CUSHION / PILLOW Pieces of this type serve as daytime cushions and night time pillows in many Berber dwellings. Most are from the region of Zeymour in the Middle Atlas and have a kilim foundation upon which embroidered designs are added. This is a particularly good example. It is old and could well have been part of a dowry. Reference 2572. REVERSE.

RARE MOROCCAN BERBER SHOES dating from the first half of the 20th century and which are hand made from camel leather. The embroidery is hand stitched silk. They would have been used for ceremonial or important occasions. They were not for daily wear. They are from a Berber group in the Djebel Siroua region of the High Atlas pre-Sahara in southern Morocco. Two similar pairs can be seen in "Spendeurs of Maroc" published by Musee Royal de l'Afrique Centrale as plates 247 and 248 which are part of a private collection of rare Berber artifacts. Reference 2578. Size 25cms.10ins. long. Euros 115.

RARE MOROCCAN BERBER SHOES dating from the first half of the 20th century and which are hand made from camel leather. The embroidery is hand stitched silk. They would have been used for ceremonial or important occasions. They were not for daily wear. They are from a Berber group in the Djebel Siroua region of the High Atlas pre-Sahara in southern Morocco. Two similar pairs can be seen in "Spendeurs of Maroc" published by Musee Royal de l'Afrique Centrale as plates 247 and 248 which are part of a private collection of rare Berber artifacts.

MOROCCAN MIDDLE ATLAS BERBER BAG / PILLOW The kilim flat weave foundation of this bag is the finest I have seen and the complex and varied designs on both front and back make this a very rare example. The portrayal of rows of flowers on the face are knotted in white and apricot coloured wools and the fine white embroidery on both sides is of cotton. The use of pistachio green, which is more noticeable on the reverse, is very unusual. It is old yet in excellent condition. Reference 2640. Size 50 x 38cms. 1ft.8in. x 1ft.3in. Euros 190.

MOROCCAN MIDDLE ATLAS BERBER BAG / PILLOW The kilim flat weave foundation of this bag is the finest I have seen and the complex and varied designs on both front and back make this a very rare example. The portrayal of rows of flowers on the face are knotted in white and apricot coloured wools and the fine white embroidery on both sides is of cotton. The use of pistachio green, which is more noticeable on the reverse, is very unusual. It is old yet in excellent condition. Reference 2640. Size 50 x 38cms. 1ft.8in. x 1ft.3in. REVERSE.

MOROCCAN BERBER MIDDLE ATLAS BAG / CUSHION. This type of weaving is often used as a pillow at night and cushion during the day by Berbers in their rural dwellings. There is an opening along one of the long edges wide enough to permit a hand to insert a stuffing. It is very unusual for one side to be completely piled, however this does happen with the Beni Jelidassen Berber group in the central High Atlas. The small diamond design and use of deep madder and green is often found in their weaving and they are described, with a colour plate of a cushion, in "Maroc, Tapis de Tribus" on pages 42-43. Reference 2606. Size 75 x 37cms. 2ft.5in. x 1ft.3in. Euros 150.

MOROCCAN BERBER MIDDLE ATLAS BAG / CUSHION. This type of weaving is often used as a pillow at night and cushion during the day by Berbers in their rural dwellings. There is an opening along one of the long edges wide enough to permit a hand to insert a stuffing. It is very unusual for one side to be completely piled, however this does happen with the Beni Jelidassen Berber group in the central High Atlas. The small diamond design and use of deep madder and green is often found in their weaving and they are described, with a colour plate of a cushion, in "Maroc, Tapis de Tribus" on pages 42-43. Reference 2606. Size 75 x 37cms. 2ft.5in. x 1ft.3in. REVERSE.

MOROCCAN BERBER HIGH ATLAS BAG / PILLOW from the Berber group Ait Sergrouchan in the eastern High Atlas mountains close to the Algerian border. This is a very old piece with fine embroidered design embellished with many metal sequins. Very fine white cotton has been used for emphasis. This work is very little known but there is a piled rug from this tribe which has some elements of these designs and which is shown as Plate 34 in "Maroc - Tapis de Tribus". Reference 2641. Size 66 x 30cms. 2ft.2in. x 1ft. Euros 195.

MOROCCAN BERBER HIGH ATLAS BAG / PILLOW from the Berber group Ait Sergrouchan in the eastern High Atlas mountains close to the Algerian border. This is a very old piece with fine embroidered design embellished with many metal sequins. Very fine white cotton has been used for emphasis. This work is very little known but there is a piled rug from this tribe which has some elements of these designs and which is shown as Plate 34 in "Maroc - Tapis de Tribus". Reference 2641. Size 66 x 30cms. 2ft.2in. x 1ft. REVERSE.

MOROCCAN BERBER MIDDLE ATLAS SADDLE BAG which is a very rare example from the Berber tribe Beni M'guild. The deep purple used for the foundation kilim and which is plied together with deep indigo for the original fastening ropes is often used in the tribe's piled carpets. The bag faces are embellished with multi-coloured woollen decorations and the same wools have been used for the extensive tassel work. A spontaneous and unique tribal artifact. Reference 2542. Size 100 x 37cms. 3ft.3in. x 1ft.3in. without tassels. Euros 525.

MOROCCAN BERBER MIDDLE ATLAS SADDLE BAG which is a very rare example from the Berber tribe Beni M'guild. The deep purple used for the foundation kilim and which is plied together with deep indigo for the original fastening ropes is often used in the tribe's piled carpets. The bag faces are embellished with multi-coloured woollen decorations and the same wools have been used for the extensive tassel work. A spontaneous and unique tribal artifact. Reference 2542. Size 100 x 37cms. 3ft.3in. x 1ft.3in. without tassels. CLOSE UP.

MOROCCAN BERBER MIDDLE ATLAS BAG / CUSHION. A seriously old early 20th century piece from a small Berber group in the western Middle Atlas. Most unusually, the face is knotted pile which now has a lovely patina and the whole bag is soft and supple with age. The centre medallion is probably copied from a carpet but the rest of the motifs are typically rural Berber. The reverse has wear on the bottom corners of the kilim back. An interesting piece for a collection. Reference 2607. Size 55 x 32cms. 1ft.10ins. x 1ft.1in. Euros 140.

MOROCCAN BERBER MIDDLE ATLAS BAG / CUSHION. A seriously old early 20th century piece from a small Berber group in the western Middle Atlas. Most unusually, the face is knotted pile which now has a lovely patina and the whole bag is soft and supple with age. The centre medallion is probably copied from a carpet but the rest of the motifs are typically rural Berber. The reverse has wear on the bottom corners of the kilim back. An interesting piece for a collection. Reference 2607. Size 55 x 32cms. 1ft.10ins. x 1ft.1in. REVERSE

MOROCCAN BERBER HIGH ATLAS BAG FACE, one of the rarest examples available today. It is probably from the Ait Hammou tribe in the Ait bou Ichaouen region of the eastern High Atlas. There are two bi-planes (with depictions of bombs alongside them) which record the terror inflicted on this tribe in the early 1930`s after their failed uprising against the French rule of that time. Berbers draw design inspirations from history, superstition and also the land around them. The large motif in the bottom panel is a depiction of a cross, the four points of which weaken and disperse the look from the evil eye. A bronze age dagger is shown in top right hand field. The bombing raids and references, with color plates, are extensively covered in the authoratitive book "Ait bou Ichaouen" by the researchers Alfred and Suzanne Saulniers. This is an important piece. Reference 2662. Size 84 x 45 cm., 2ft. 9ins, x 1ft. 6ins. Euros 680.

MOROCCAN BERBER HIGH ATLAS BAG FACE, one of the rarest examples available today. It is probably from the Ait Hammou tribe in the Ait bou Ichaouen region of the eastern High Atlas. There are two bi-planes (with depictions of bombs alongside them) which record the terror inflicted on this tribe in the early 1930`s after their failed uprising against the French rule of that time. Berbers draw design inspirations from history, superstition and also the land around them. The large motif in the bottom panel is a depiction of a cross, the four points of which weaken and disperse the look from the evil eye. A bronze age dagger is shown in top right hand field. The bombing raids and references, with color plates, are extensively covered in the authoratitive book "Ait bou Ichaouen" by the researchers Alfred and Suzanne Saulniers. This is an important piece. Reference 2662. Size 84 x 45 cm., 2ft. 9ins, x 1ft. 6ins. REVERSE

MOROCCAN MIDDLE ATLAS DOUBLE SADDLE BAG from the region of Zemmour. PUBLISHED IN "ORIENTAL RUGS: AN ILLUSTRATED LEXICON OF MOTIFS, MATERIALS AND ORIGINS" by Peter Stone, page 316. The bag itself has a very fine embroidered design on both panels and has been further embellished by extensive use of metal sequins. See `Splendeurs du Maroc` - Musee Royal de l`Afrique Centrale, 1998, page 148. Reference 2012. Size 104 x 37cms, 3ft 5ins x 1ft 3ins, Euros 385.

MOROCCAN MIDDLE ATLAS DOUBLE SADDLE BAG from the region of Zemmour. PUBLISHED IN "ORIENTAL RUGS: AN ILLUSTRATED LEXICON OF MOTIFS, MATERIALS AND ORIGINS" by Peter Stone, page 316. The bag itself has a very fine embroidered design on both panels and has been further embellished by extensive use of metal sequins. See `Splendeurs du Maroc` - Musee Royal de l`Afrique Centrale, 1998, page 148. Reference 2012. Size 104 x 37cms, 3ft 5ins x 1ft 3ins. CLOSE UP

MOROCCAN HIGH ATLAS BERBER DOUBLE SIDED PILLOW / CUSHION . It is very rare to find a complete piled double sided pillow. It is one piece folded over and joined with an opening along one edge to allow for filling. It is from the Ait Bou Ichaouen Berber group in the remote eastern High Atlas. The design of motifs within squares or rectangles is very unusual but there is an example of this technique shown as Plate 70 in the text book "Ait Bou Ichaouen" by Alfred and Suzanne Sauniers. Reference 2011 Size 104 x 41cms. 3ft.5in. x 1ft.4in. Euros 390.

MOROCCAN HIGH ATLAS BERBER DOUBLE SIDED PILLOW / CUSHION . It is very rare to find a complete piled double sided pillow. It is one piece folded over and joined with an opening along one edge to allow for filling. It is from the Ait Bou Ichaouen Berber group in the remote eastern High Atlas. The design of motifs within squares or rectangles is very unusual but there is an example of this technique shown as Plate 70 in the text book "Ait Bou Ichaouen" by Alfred and Suzanne Sauniers. Reference 2011 Size 104 x 41cms. 3ft.5in. x 1ft.4in. REVERSE

Vats of dye in the city of Fez.

This is where I buy wool for my restoration studio.

MOROCCAN BERBER MIDDLE ATLAS SADDLE BAG which is of exceptional fineness and was probably woven as a dowry piece. It has a plain, fine kilim background upon which design has been embroidered and many sequins added. There is a similar piece attributed to the early to mid 20th century from the region of Zaine in the Middle Atlas which is colour plate 58 in "Arts and Crafts of Morocco". Reference 2550. Size 84 x 34cms. 2ft.9in. x 1ft.2in. CLOSE UP.

MOROCCAN BERBER MIDDLE ATLAS SADDLE BAG which is of exceptional fineness and was probably woven as a dowry piece. It has a plain, fine kilim background upon which design has been embroidered and many sequins added. There is a similar piece attributed to the early to mid 20th century from the region of Zaine in the Middle Atlas which is colour plate 58 in "Arts and Crafts of Morocco". Reference 2550. Size 84 x 34cms. 2ft.9in. x 1ft.2in. Euros 280.

MOROCCAN BERBER HIGH ATLAS BAG FACE, which is an extremely rare example of work from the Berber of Ait bou Ichaouen, probably the Ait Hammou group. The weaving has significant religious designs and the owner may have been one of the men who appear in the two diamonds, the lower one of which contains the name "Abdullah". There are also the words for "Allah", "The King" and "Our Land". The wording used is in the Amazigh (Berber) language and one very old inhabitant of the village I found it in said it was in the Tifinagh dialect. The letter "H" and number "2" are also shown and these are both used in written Amazigh. Abdullah is well protected by the inclusion of a design representing a dagger to his right. A most fascinating, rare and important piece. Reference 2663. Size 84 x 45 cms., 2ft. 9ins. x 1ft. 6ins. CLOSE UP OF INSCRIPTIONS.

MOROCCAN BERBER HIGH ATLAS BAG FACE, which is an extremely rare example of work from the Berber of Ait bou Ichaouen, probably the Ait Hammou group. The weaving has significant religious designs and the owner may have been one of the men who appear in the two diamonds, the lower one of which contains the name "Abdullah". There are also the words for "Allah", "The King" and "Our Land". The wording used is in the Amazigh (Berber) language and one very old inhabitant of the village I found it in said it was in the Tifinagh dialect. The letter "H" and number "2" are also shown and these are both used in written Amazigh. Abdullah is well protected by the inclusion of a design representing a dagger to his right. A most fascinating, rare and important piece. Reference 2663. Size 84 x 45 cms., 2ft. 9ins. x 1ft. 6ins. Euros 675.

I checked every single one of the bags and trappings brought by this man to the Monday morning market, but could not find anything really great.

Monday morning rug market in the Middle Atlas. Rugs have been gathered in the villages for the past week and now the negotiations begin. I work here frequently.

MOROCCAN BERBER HIGH ATLAS TENT BAG. These bags are multi purpose and called "Anoual". Although the designs are different on each side the piece was first woven as a small knotted rug, then folded before the sides were sealed with overcasting. A narrow opening is left at the top edge to allow for filling and the original fastening loops and securing ropes are mostly intact. The designs are mainly of diamond shaped lozenges with depictions in the field of crosses (to weaken, then disperse looks from the evil eye), and scissors or shears. This very rare, old piece is from the north west part of the High Atlas and is the work of the Ait bou Ichaouen Berbers. Excellent information on these weavings by researchers Alfred and Suzanne Saulniers is published in their book "Ait bou Ichaouen" Reference 2664. Size 42 x 88 cms., 1ft. 5ins x 2ft. 11 ins. REVERSE.

MOROCCAN BERBER HIGH ATLAS TENT BAG. These bags are multi purpose and called "Anoual". Although the designs are different on each side the piece was first woven as a small knotted rug, then folded before the sides were sealed with overcasting. A narrow opening is left at the top edge to allow for filling and the original fastening loops and securing ropes are mostly intact. The designs are mainly of diamond shaped lozenges with depictions in the field of crosses (to weaken, then disperse looks from the evil eye), and scissors or shears. This very rare, old piece is from the north west part of the High Atlas and is the work of the Ait bou Ichaouen Berbers. Excellent information on these weavings by researchers Alfred and Suzanne Saulniers is published in their book "Ait bou Ichaouen" Reference 2664. Size 42 x 88 cms., 1ft. 5ins x 2ft. 11 ins. Euros 390.