The following is a selection of fine and unusual Suzani and other tapestries, kilims, saddle bags, tribal weavings and, if in stock, Arts & Crafts pieces. Updated 3/8/2021
Silk Ikats were, together with Suzanis, the most prestigious textiles in 19th C Uzbeci society. The quality of a person's ikats - be they clothing or hangings - reflected the person's standing in the community.This early example was woven in 4 widths joined together, rarely matching each other in design details which was apparently acceptable, if not desirable. Each panel was made up of finely woven pre-dyed sections using a complex process known as resist-dyeing.
Ikats of this size and format make formidable wall hangings, if stretched up in gallery display fashion they sit very well in the company of contemporary art, at a fraction of the price. In very good condition throughout, only a small area of slight wear in lower left corner, the original backing cloth present. A better image will be posted shortly.
A very pretty, delicately drawn Suzani, finely embroidered in silk in a variety of local stitches such as Bokhara couching and open/double chain stitches, all performed by hand and not using a tambur needle. It has recently been cleaned, relined and had some minor spots of wear along the outer borders expertly restored.
Suzanis are now firmly established in the world of serious textile collecting and decoration with several important private collections having surfaced in recent years. Its original function was to serve as part of dowry, the more common larger sizes laid out as bridal bed spreads and the rarer, smaller pieces like this intended to decorate the children's beds, only for the duration of the wedding celebrations. They make stunningly beautiful wall hangings.
This idyllic pastoral scene is drawn in the manner of Francois Boucher (1703-1770), a distinguished painter who also produced cartoons for the Beauvais ateliers in France, modified versions of which were later woven in Aubusson. This charming example is finely woven in wool and silk, the yarns dyed with natural dyes of good quality compared to pieces from the late 19th C which were prone to fading.
In excellent, original and virtually repair free condition, of a very desirable size. A closely related piece was sold by Sotheby's of London in February 1996, Lot 68, as part of the important Vigo-Sternberg tapestry collection.
These elegant, linear kilims were woven an several areas of the Caucasus and also, similar, in parts of north Persian Azerbaijan province. They were usually woven for dowry but also had a functional use as decorative wall hangings with the added benefit as insulation. Usually the wedded couple would receive many more such weavings than they could use, hence they were stored away as future heirlooms and only sold maybe two generations later.
These powerful kilims were woven over a large area generically known as Azerbaijan, probably by semi-nomadic Shah Savan tribespeople. Some have borders all around and others, like this example, simply feature broad, horizontal bands with powerful rams' horn motifs. The brilliant, natural colours combined with open spaces and bold motifs create a stunning effect, unlike almost any other Oriental textiles.
Most of these kilims were displayed on walls as the main feature in the home - this piece still has its original hanging loops along one long side. In perfect condition apart from a tiny spot of restoration in the centre.
A very finely woven bag face, originally one half of a "khorjeen" (double bag) with matching front sides of knotted wool pile. Superb quality and excellent condition throughout, very attractive design and lovely natural colours. For further info on this piece, click Recent Acquisitions, and scroll down.
An attractive and quirky Jaf bag face with the characteristic diamond "animal head" forms spontaneously arranged by the weaver. The pile shows slight, even surface wear, side cords are replaced but there are no other repairs. For further info on this piece, click Recent Acquisitions and scroll down.
This beautiful large wall bagface features a non-Turkoman design originally from Persia (known there as the Mina Khani). In its original form the tendrils are curvilinear whereas here they are straightened out in more regimented Turkoman tribal style, making it one of the rare floral designs of the Turkoman repertoire. Finely woven in excellent quality wool it also features several colours of silk in the central flowerheads - hence clearly designed for decoration rather than utilitarian tribal use.
Unusually large for its type, beautifully drawn with a particularly attractive lower panel. In very good condition it still has its original side cords, good pile and original lower end. The upper end has been rebound and there are a few minute spots of red dye run visible only from the back.
A similar example is illustrated in The Textile Museum, Washington, Turkmen tribal carpets and traditions, Pl 89.
The "azmalyk" were woven in an identical pair by some of the Turkoman subtribes as part of dowry. The exact purpose was to decorate the camel carrying the young bride, an azmalyk displayed on each side below her saddle, the bride herself completely covered in textiles so as to be invisible until confronted with her husband (possibly for the first time).
One of a pair, the other has recently been sold. In excellent, original condition throughout, the original decorative fringes still mainly intact, full pile and no repairs.
Textile Museum, Washington, Turkmen - pl 75 and photo of Yomut bride en route to her wedding with asmalyk decorating her camel.
Chuval was one of several hand knotted bags intended for storage of household utensils during camps in migration. They were also among the most popular dowry and wedding gifts from family and fellow tribespeople, resulting in most newly wedded Yomut families owning a collection of such bags. Only a small number would ever be used, the majority stored away and kept as valuable assets for the future.
This beautiful pair are complete and in perfect condition, their most recent owners having had them displayed on a wall as works of tribal art. Woven on goats' hair warp, finely knotted at 170/sq inch, free of repairs or alterations.