In this category I list recently acquired pieces of all groups and sizes for a duration of maximum 4 months after arrival, thereafter they appear in their respective sections. More images of any lot available on request. Updated 20/10/2017
A great example of the famous DOBAG rugs, woven at a time when the project was still going strong. Today only a very small number of rugs are woven and only a small number of families are still involved. This beautiful DOBAG illustrates how great they once were - great, open design, good proportions and a great eye for colour harmony on part of the weaver who has signed and dated it 2001. Having been in daily use for 16 years and lovingly looked after, the rug has been professionally hand washed, now glowing like a jewel with beginnings of the patina seen in great rugs from centuries past. In perfect, original condition.
At first glance this highly decorative rug is clearly a Baluch weaving, until you look more closely at certain weave, dye and design features. Kurdish and Baluch groups lived and migrated in close proximity in this area and often "borrowed" rug design ideas from each other. Kurdish features in this rug include the use of brown wool and goats' hair in the structure, the very elaborate kilim ends usually seen around the Kurdish rugs from Quchan, plus the subtle use of a lovely green colour rarely seen in true Baluch rugs. In very good condition showing only slight, overall wear plus some minute repairs to the kilim ends.
A nice, funky Baluch rug with a dramatic main border and lovely "abrash" of sky blue across the field. The rug has been kept on a wall by previous owners and hence it remains in good condition - only very slight, even wear, no field repairs bar one minute reweave to lower left corner, original side cords and no loss at short ends other than the original kilim.
A handsome and decorative early 20th C carpet with good wool and natural colours - the design with a higher number of more densely placed "guls" but still showing a degree of spontaneity around the borders. The carpet has slight but even wear but only a few minute spot repairs, the original sidecords still present and no loss at the short ends except for the original kilims. Perfect size for a set of dining room furniture!
This beautiful carpet features a style of design known as "islimi", more often referred to as "vase" design, a concept of carpet design going back to the Safavid dynasty in the 16th-17th C. It is in my view one of the most attractive all-over designs ever found in the Persian carpet repertoire, scrolling gracefully across the field with a wonderful sense of scale and proportion. It is also an example of the "endless repeat" format, self explanatory if you look at the opposite ends of the field.
Originally this carpet was sold at the Adams sale in 2006, then described as Tabriz which can be explained by the weaving technique using symmetrical knot and the Tabriz side cord. However the glossy wool and the range of natural colours, especially the cochineal ground, confirms that this is one of those very fine Meshed examples using "imported" weavers from Tabriz, hence the name "Turkbaff" (Turkish knot).
There are a couple of very minor, old spot repairs but generally the carpet is in excellent condition for its age, in near full pile throughout without loss of ends or sides.
Several works on antique Baluch rugs have been published, perhaps the most informative one by Jeff Boucher, Baluchi Woven Treasures, where describes a huge range of weavings by this group. Plates 6 and 11 in his book are closely related to this charming rug which features a rare inclusion of scatter details in white in the middle of the rhythmic grid design. In very good, original condition with full pile except areas piled in black wool, the original kilims and side cords present.
Rugs of this appearance are often referred to as "Bokhara" after the trading town where the Turkoman tribes sold their wares. Following the Russian Revolution these tribes were forced to move into nearby Persia and Afghanistan, most of them settling down in the early 20th into sedentary lives, losing much of their traditions in the process. Their original tribal designs were more recently picked up by commercial factories in India and Pakistan but they don't compare in any way with their early role models.
Original Turkoman pieces with natural colours are sought after by collectors and decorators alike, popular for their calm, restrained and rhythmic designs that work well in both contemporary and traditional interiors. This example has slight wear in places but is still highly decorative, and of a very sought after furnishing size, at a very reasonable price.
A charming, quirky rug with plenty of character and spontaneity, clearly woven without cartoons or written design guidance. Instead the weaver has worked from memory in a style inherited from previous generations of family weavers. The superb colours are all natural and fast, meaning the rug can be washed repeatedly without fear of colour running which is a huge problem in contemporary rug production. Note the two human figures at the top end, indicating this was probably woven as a gift, or dowry. In excellent, original condition, with full, lustrous pile, only one or two minute spot repairs.
This arrangement of small "animal head" squares placed in a lattice grid was the most common design used by the Jaf tribe on their knotted pile bags. They are highly distinctive, decorative and tactile pieces, using superb natural colours and glossy, lanolin rich wool. This piece would have been one half of an originally double faced bag with a plain, flat woven back, often removed by bazaar traders prior to export as they constituted excess weight and of little decorative merit compared to the beautiful front pieces.
This is one half of an double "khorjin" saddle or storage bag, both fronts with knotted pile originally connected by plain flat weave forming the back. The front halves were usually highly decorative in tribal nomadic culture and as such they were common dowry and wedding gifts. These bags were rarely utilised but carefully stored away, perhaps only to be displayed on anniversaries or other celebrations and eventually, generations later, be offered for sale.
This is a very pretty and somewhat unusual example of Jaf work, the main field motifs normally all of similar, smaller size arranged diagonally. Beautiful natural colours, great wool and highly decorative on a wall or placed on furniture. A bargain piece of a long gone tribal art culture.
Runners like this magnificent example are very rare on international markets. Most examples on offer would have wear, plenty of repairs, reduction in size, etc. This beauty is totally original with its ends and sides intact and only minimal spots of slight surface wear.
Woven on wool foundation it has glorious natural colours, impervious to light and water, meaning it won't fade and the colours won't run. If you have a large, cold corridor or hall way in need of warming up, this runner will do it in one blow, and it will last for generations to come. It will also "work" in contemporary as well as classical interiors.
The distinctive Joshagan carpets have been woven for over two centuries, the style of design having remained clearly identifiable although some nearby weaving towns like Kashan have occasionally tried to mimic them. They are robustly made, heavy and durable pieces, double wefted with thick, hand spun wool pile and, until around 1940, superb natural colours.
This great carpet is a perfect example of the higher grade of Joshagans with a knot count of over 140 pr sq inch. Since this golden era the quality has fallen steadily and the few Joshagans still woven today are about half the fineness using terrible synthetic colours. This is a carpet set to last for generations with a design that lends itself both to traditional and contemporary settings. In perfect condition throughout, full pile and free of repairs.
This very beautiful, and most unusual, carpet has a wonderful all-over, directional design, showing inspiration from both 17th C Mughal carpet weaving as well as a touch of Art Nouveau design. The colours (all natural) are soft and beautifully blended, the design details of a kind you can look at all day and discover something new. In perfect, original condition throughout, ex a private Swedish collection. Signed and inscribed by the weavers.
This group of rugs are easily recognised by their oblong format and sparsely decorated, sometimes totally plain, field. The best pieces are quite finely knotted - this one has a knot count of 130 pr sq inch - and very high quality wool dyed with superb organic dyes. Rare, collectible and highly decorative, Talish rugs are much sought after by decorators and collectors alike.
With their curvilinear designs, tight knotting and fine wool, Tafresh rugs differ from the main style of Hamadan rugs. This example feature the oldest and most commonly found design in the region with an elaborate 16-foil medallion repeated in the corners. Tafrish also feature a different range of colours including an apricot and pale sky blue as seen in this rug. Apart from a few minute spots of slight wear and some oversewing of the side cords, the rug is in very good condition throughout.
This charming, original tribal weaving represents a long lost lifestyle and rug weaving tradition. At this time, rug weaving was a integral part of nomadic life, each piece woven entirely from the weaver's memory. The wool and the natural dyes were all sourced within the tribe, each rug totally original and impossible to replicate as nothing was written down or recorded. With the gradual settlement of these tribes their ancient craft was lost - plainly obvious when you compare with the pre-designed, sterile and synthetically dyed commercial "tribal rugs" woven in factories today for tourism and export, This piece has the classical "Yuruk" colour palette with thick, lustrous wool in most areas. The side cords have been sympathetically rebound and there are no other repairs.
This lovely rug is a fine example of the cottage industry of rug weaving in Hamadan around a century ago. Beautiful natural colours, a quirky and charming design drawn from the weaver's memory, top quality high lanolin wool, in original, repair free condition throughout. Unusually for a Hamadan piece it has double cotton wefts, adding to its resilience.
Kashan carpets of this period were often among the most elegant and classically drawn of all Persian city carpets. At this time most of the better qualities were still employing naturally dyed yarns of the highest quality, the designs drawn by very experienced masters who fully understood the merits of good design and perfectly harmonising colours. This carpet would immediately transform a dull, soulless space into a highly sofisticated, elegant and luxurious drawing room. The carpet is in near perfect condition with only a few tiny areas of slight spot wear - most of it retains its full pile. A beautiful carpet for a special room.
This lovely runner was made at the peak of the DOBAG project when some 300 families were involved in weaving for the co-op. Today very few DOBAG rugs are woven, making the surviving pieces in good condition very attractive. Kadriye Cetin, the weaver of this runner, was a very experienced, competent weaver whose rugs will last for generations if treated with care. Now, after a perfect cleaning, the colours glow and the thick wool pile feels like silk. Signed K.D.
This is one of my favourite DOBAG designs, and it's weavers - I have an almost identical piece woven by Sehriye in 1997 in my personal collection. DOBAGs of this quality are virtually impossible to source as the project has shrunk to a fraction of what it was 20 years ago. Although this example has been in use for 17 years it has been well looked after and now, given all those years of polish plus a recent state-of-the-art wash, it has turned into a glorious and internationally collectible rug. Signed S.A. and dated 2000.
This beautiful, and unusual, Tekke "Bokhara" rug has spent most of its life to date on the wall - on this image you can see the stitch for the back webbing along the top kilim end. Probably never walked on, it is in totally original, untouched condition throughout with full pile, original side cords and complete kilims, woven on a warp of wool and goats' hair, free of repairs. A rare feature is the variance in design along the top and bottom end border, something you normally associate with the "ensi" group of Turkoman tribal rugs. A gem!
This is a curiosity whose exact origins are up for debate. The weave is Kurdish (brown wool warps), the colouring and design highly reminiscent of rugs and kilims woven around Sanadaj, yet there's a distinct Avshar feel to it. Without elaborating here, suffice it to say it is a beautiful, quirky and endearing rug with lovely natural colours and great wool, in very good condition. The side cords have been oversewn and the upper short end reduced by 1-2 knot rows, now secured.
Rug weaving in Abadeh is merely over a century old, inspired by the weavings traded in the bazaars by the various tribal groups passing through. Old examples were well made with good, natural colours and properly spun wool. The design seen here is known as "Zil-i-Soltan", a complex all over composition featuring vases filled with exotic flowers. In excellent condition throughout.
This stunning rug is a great example of vintage Persian understanding of design and harmonising colours. The ivory ground contrasts beautifully against the deep indigo border and the chestnut inner field, lifting the entire composition to a very satisfying overall effect. The use of multiple colours reminds me of the famous advice given by Paul Gaugain to his art students:
"Oh you painters who ask for a technique of colour, look at carpets and there you will find all knowledge."
In excellent condition throughout with only marginal spot repairs to ends and sides, the side cords mostly original, nothing missing at the ends, a few small areas showing very slight wear. The lanolin rich wool pile makes the natural colours glow like jewels. A great thing, suitable for floor use as well as a major art statement on the wall.
A rare, early and very beautiful silk Suzani, finely embroidered with beautiful, subtle colours and an unusual, exciting design. Rippon Boswell recently sold the outstanding suzani collection of Ignazio Vok where, in Vol. 1, Lot # 68 is a closely related piece. The colouring and general style resembles work from the Ura Tube region whereas RB/Vok places their example in the separate group of Zarafshan. A stunning piece of important textile work of a quality long since gone. In very good condition throughout, complete all around and with only a couple of old, minor spot repairs.