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rug no longer in my possession Qashqa'i bag face with bands of boxes and rosettes

Qashqa'i bagface with bands of boxes and flowers - opens jpg in same window

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Attribution and age

This southern Persian tribal bag face was made aproximately in the first third of the 20th century. Whether is has ever been used as part of the whole double animal bag, I am not sure. Assymetric knots and the kind of motifs suggest a Qashqa'i origin (and Ian Bennett agrees in his auction catalogue attribution) but we cannot be certain. Pattern-wise, it might also be NW Persian but then it would probably have symmetric knots.

This piece is not something for a sqeamish collector put off by a few synthetic dyes but nevertheless it is a rustic, very decorative and genuine Qashqa'i Khorjin face which should be interesting for its unusual design. (Go send me images of comparative pieces if you have any).


The design shows an alternation between three horizontal bands of boxes containing diamond repeat designs, more elongated in the top row, and two wider and more spacious bands containing three rosettes each, all accentuated by a central diamond. While these appear very even in there distribution of petals, there is some play in the distribution withing the band, avoiding an all too regular appearance. At the very top of the field, there is a narrow strip of tiny quartered blossoms, motives that also appear strewn in between further down.

The main border is narrow and simple, combining the blossom motif and that of diamonds to form a kind of quartered diamond blossom (this may have a better name - something possibly too simple and too mundane to appear in Peter Stone's patter reference Tribal and Village Rugs). Well, simple as such patterns may be, there are so many combinations of a few design atoms that soon the number gets out if hand. But there is nothing very specific or tribal about such simpe platerns - we may find them also in Caucasian or NW Persion rugs. I like the very simply reciprocal outer border.


The dimensions are 1.7ft x 1.6ft (52cm x 48cm). Asymmetric knots open to the left, light warp depression (ca. 40 degrees), somewhat dry wool. Off-white wool warps, 2 strands z-spun and s-twined, hand-spun s-twined cotton wefts. The knot count is 35/10 cm vertical, 33/10 cm horizontal = 1155 knots per dm2. Translated into kpsi, this is roughly 8.v, 8.h = ca. 64 kpsi). Selvedge scontain of two cords of warps hold together by figureö8 wrapping in different bands od colour (see image).


A colourful palette combining a natural madder red and several shades of indigo blue with a few synthetic dyes that have partly or completely faded (compare front view and back view). There's a 'loud orange' that's faded a bit on the front to a pleasing shade resemling rust or lichen but is stronger at the back; a strong bluish red mainly in some of the boxes and small quartered stars that has equally faded to a softer pinkish red. And then there is a white which, turning the thing on its back has once been light green.The light yellow is only slightly weaker on the front, could be natural or synthetic dye. Another bluish green looks natural. Add dark brown and ivory white, and we have covered the palette.


Decent, short but fairly even pile with very few knots missing here or there. The ends are disintegrating a bit, especially at the lower end towards the centre (see image).

More images

All photos are taken outdoors with a lightly overcast sky.

Qashqa'i bag face - full view

Qashqa'i bag face - pile detail view

Qashqa'i bag face - view of the back with stronger colours

Last update: 30 August 2011 | Impressum—Imprint