A Fascinating Qashgai Antique Persian Salt-Bag

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Origin: Persia/Iran
Style: Qashgai
Provenance: N/A
Dated: Early/Middle 20th C
Hand Woven Niddle work.
Length: 45cms / 1.5 feet
Width: 40cms / 1.3 feet


A wonderful insight into nomadic life, this bag has two small talismanic seashells that hang from its weave, attached by the weaver for either sentiment or luck. The design to the front of the piece is more traditional than the shells that surround it.  The central motif is made up of five floral stars making an X shape. There are then three woven borders of differing widths and a dotted white accent to highlight these. The reverse shows five (the number five again appearing) arrow shapes, again making a rough X shape and giving the piece a symmetry not always seen.

This type of bag, traditionally used  for storing personal possessions or  indeed salt, but also sometimes as a cushion stuffed with feathers. The Qashqai nomadic tribes of the Fars province in southwestern Iran weave these pieces with an assured dexterity and skill.

They are not normally made for export, but for domestic use; that is the reason they are often carefully and beautifully made, and they can be very decorative. The front face is carpet and the reverse is usually Kilim.

These bags have a multitude of uses that could include using the piece as a cushion, a small rug, a beautiful wall hanging or as a personal storage bag as the maker probably intended. A small price to pay for a very useable and versatile work of art.

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