Antique Persian Bag – Collection of Anthony Sargeant

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This beautiful antique bag was made in South-West Persia – probably in about 1890. It was woven by a female of the Afshar tribe of nomads who migrated with their flocks between summer and winter pastures. Originally it was part of a pair of bags woven as one piece which was slung over the pack animals to transport the nomads belongings, but like the majority of such bags it has long ago been split into two separate bags for sale in the western market. The face of the bag has a very traditional design with a hooked lozenge central medallion surrounded by four smaller medallions in the spandrels. It is piled with a fabulously lustrous soft wool in natural colours including a soft green produced by overdying blue and yellow (Note: there was no natural green – and synthetic chemical dyes although available from around the 1850s in the Caucuses they were not used by the nomads in this area until relatively late). The original slit kelim and brocaded top is intact although the fastening cords from the back of the bag which looped into the slit kelim have been lost. The rear of the bag is a wonderful brocaded flat weave. All in all a wonderful example of the nomadic weavers art.

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