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rug no longer in my possession Baluch chanteh with tassels, stuffed as cushion

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Attribution and age

This small Baluch chanteh (single bag) has many nice tassels. Probably made around 1920-1950.


The white-ground border of eight-pointed stars alternating with small diamonds dominates this piece. It frames a diamond circumscribed by diagonal white-ground bars. The design is the same on both sides, but slightly incoherent on the slightly paler face shown, due to a false start one third up the central design when it became clear to the weaver that she needed more space to put in the central diamond.

Horizontal bars filled with small crosses or diamonds bracket the central design at top and bottom. The back side looks roughly the same. One side is slightly faded compared to the other, especially the aubergine dye; it must have received a lot of exposure to the sun.

Quite a few red and brown tassels (am I too lazy to count?), some with white shells and beads, hang from the sides and bottom, the top of the tassels delicately wrapped and embroidered with diamonds and zig-zag bands. One tassel is a greyish blue, a colour absent in the pile.


The weaving of the piece is continuous around the bottom, so it is not two faces of a small khorjin used at some point to make up a cushion. Whether this piece was ever used or even intended as chanteh (bag) I cannot say. The dimensions (ignoring the tassels) are 1.6ft x 1.1ft (40cm x 33cm). Asymmetric knots open to the left, nice, soft, shiny wool. Brown wool warps, grey double wool wefts (difficult to tell without access to the back, but it shows where the ends meet at the top). The knot count is 40/10 cm vertical, 27/10 cm horizontal = 1080 knots per dm2. Translated into kpsi, this is about 10.v, 7.h = ca. 70 kpsi). The cushion is slightly stuffed, uncompressed it is perhaps 5 inches thick.


A limited palette of probably organic dyes: madder red, a brownish aubergine, a greyish green, dark brown, and ivory white. The aubergine may be a synthetic dye since one side is slightly faded in comparison to the other. The tassel tops also have brocading in thin threads in red, brown, gras green, turquoise green, yellow, a pinkish red, and medium red. This is probably commercial cottom yarn.


Very good condition, full pile. No odour. Some tassel shells may have broken and fallen off at some point.

More images

All photos are taken in sunlight.

baluch chanteh - reverse side

Baluch chanteh - tassel detail

Baluch chanteh - lower right corner detail, tassels

Last update: 19 June 2011 | Impressum—Imprint