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 18/1/2024
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.
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.
The Kurds, like most other tribes throughout the rug weaving part of the Orient, habitually wove a wide range of beautiful textiles for dowry or weddings. Many of them were simply stored away and only displayed at anniversaries etc, eventually to be sold through the local bazaars generations later.
This gorgeous chuval bag, complete with plain kilim backing and weft float brocaded front, is one of those stored away pieces. Purchased in our Blackrock gallery in 1992 it has been on a wall ever since, in an area with plenty of daylight, showing no fading or other faults, proof of the quality of natural dye stuffs used. A very nice piece, perhaps best seen hanging on a wall, or filled to serve as a large floor cushion.
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.
The photo of this piece doesn't do it justice - in real life it glows and shines with a range of wonderful natural colours, enhanced by excellent quality shiny wool. It is one long side panel of what once was a tribal cradle, a type of traditional tribal weaving that traditionally figured as wedding gifts and dowry. The quality is very high, one of the finest I have handled, kept in perfect, repair free condition throughout.
Several decades ago these weavings were often spotted in bazaars throughout north-west Persia and Azerbaijan - today they are very rare and highly sought after by collectors. Whether displayed on a wall, draped over a grand piano or placed on a table, it would stand out by its amazing colour and quality.
An exceptionally well woven bag face of superb quality, maintained in excellent condition. Like so many tribal artefacts of this age and quality it may well have been part of dowry and as such kept in safe storage apart from special occasions, anniversaries etc when the entire home was decorated with these beautiful works of tribal art.
The knot count is over 180 pr square inch, all dyes are natural and the piece is in original, flawless condition apart from a couple of minute spots of repair of no consequence. Originally this would have been one half of an original "khorjeen" double bag, an important part of dowry among most Persian tribes. Most of them were never used, instead kept in safe storage and only displayed on important occasions. A rare little gem, perfect for hanging or draping over furniture.