Gordon Priest on Persian, Kurdish and Caucasian Bags, Part 2
This Part 2 of a Textile Museum “rug morning” presentation by Gordon Priest. In Part 1, Gordon treated the material he had brought to this session from his own collection.
You can see Part 1, using this link: https://rjohnhowe.wordpress.com/2013/05/16/gordon-priest-on-persian-kurdish-and-caucasian-bags-part-1/
Members of the audience had brought in quite a few things as well, and Gordon moved to treat them next.
The first of these was the one below.
This is constructed from pieces of various textiles. Such composites are often of “Greek Island” embroideries, but its owner said that this one is from southeastern Europe: the Balkans.
Details of BI1.
Comment on BI2: This is a complete, Anatolian khorjin set woven in the Kars area. It is different from most Anatolian saddle bags (called heybes), in that the connecting panel is very short. Here is the more usual look of an Anatolian heybe (not shown in the session) with a long connecting panel with a center slit.
Detail of BI2.
Comment on BI3: This small bag is Bakhtyari. A number of tassels with beads are used as edge decorations.
Detail images of BI3.
Comment on BI4: This piece is Kurdish, but off-topic in the sense that it is a small “rug,” a “pushti,” rather than a bag. It was woven in Khorasan and demonstrates the fact that the diamond field design, so frequently encountered with pile Jaff Kurd bags, is also used farther east in sumac.
Details of BI4.
Comment on BI5: Its owner thought that this complete Caucasian khorjin set was woven by Armenians. Tapestry weaving with edging of the tops of both bags in brocade.
Detail images of BI 5.
Comment on BI6: This piece has a cotton foundation and depressed warps. The knot is asymmetrical. The dominant opinion in the room was that it was Veramin.
Detail of BI6.
Comment on BI7: This small bag is silk-embroidered in a way similar to that used in Central Asian suzanis. Good graphic design.
Detail images of BI7.
Comment on BI8: Its owner says that this small bag with either Qashqa’i or Bakhtyari, and drew attention to the nice light blue on its pile face.
Details of BI8.
Its back with stripes in two different sets of alternating colors and a narrow, decorative panel at the top is very attractive.
Notice that the striping of the lower panel in which the light blue is used, is in fact of three colors, with the alternate stripe composed of a dark blue or black and, then, brown. This two-color stripe has the same width, combined, as do the light blue, the red and the green. A nice, subtle, enriching touch.
Details of BI9.
It has black wefts.
Comment on BI10: This small, pile-faced bag has a charming “tree of life” design.
Its back is also colorful and striking. I didn’t look closely, but it appears to be warp-faced.
Details of BI10.
Comment on BI11: This complete khorjin half was seen as Kurdish. The aqua blue was noted.
It has an attractive, striped back in plain-weave.
Detail images of BI11.
Comment on BI12: A mafrash side panel in sumak. Shahsavan or Caucasian. Nice, crisp drawing.
Details of BI12.
Top and botton border systems are interesting and seem unusual.
Larger quadrupeds in the field were seen possibly to be dragons. There are a number of smaller quadrupeds as well.
Comment on BI13: An interesting, varied, complete, khorjin half. A yellow-ground pile panel, with star medallions, moves from the bottom of the front sumak panel and continues around to the back.
Details of BI13.
The sumak front panel has what could be seen as near gul forms, but which are, in fact, abstracted versions of the “dragon and phoenix” motif.
The back is mostly tapestry, but with bands of brocade decoration.
A line of camels marches across.
Comment on BI14: This is another Jaf Kurd complete khorjin half. It has more sober tones than some. A narrow border, with a chalky white meander, surrounds the field, and there are mostly white dividing lines between the round devices in its main border.
Details of BI 14.
There is a nice, colorful, strip of pile chevron, and a pleasantly varied striped tapestry back with some good greens.
Comment on BI15: A complete khorjin half with a single medallion on its pile front panel. Its back is more varied, unusual and interesting. Its owner suggested a Veramin attribution.
Detail images of BI15.
Comment on BI16: Another complete khorjin half, this time in a larger, familiar Baluch design.
Detail of BI16.
There is cochineal silk in its center star device.
Comment on BI17: Next was a more recent Baluch piece in a “balisht,” (cushion cover) format.
Details of BI17.
Dark goat hair selvedges. There is apparent cochineal used in some of the leaf forms in the field.
Comment on BI18: Another Jaf Kurd face. The design is a little different because the half diamonds at the edge of the field, and the next set of diamonds toward the center, have reciprocating “hooks” on their edges. Produces a zigzag effect.
Detail images of BI18.
Color of the plain weave sections between the closure strips varies.
Comment on BI19: A larger complete Baluch khorjin half with a familiar “bird” design. There are five identical (except for color) birds on this front. The Baluch are fond of “hiding” things by using close analogous colors next to one another. Front has the look of a piece that has been chemically washed to “antique” it.
Detail images of BI19.
Colors on the back are bright and don’t look like they’ve been chemically washed. Could back and front be from different pieces put together after the front was chemically washed?
Comment on BI20: Its owner said she had it because: “an old boyfriend owed me some money.” She described it as “Baluch-related.” A dark tonality.
Details of BI20.
Comment on BI21: Someone said that Jaf Kurd bags are like potato chips. You can’t have just one.
This was another nice one. An interesting and effective “S-in-cartouche” white ground main border.
Detail images of BI21.
Comment on BI22: The owner of this piece seemed to say that it is composed of two separate pieces that have been joined. “Cut and shut” is the market description. Kurdish?
Details of BI22.
Comment on BI23: Bakhtyari. Mixed techniques. Narrow pile strip near the “top” in the image orientation (the holder’s thumb is on it).
Details of BI23.
Narrow brocaded elem at opposite end.
Comment on BI24: Owner said it was Qashqa’i. Said he bought it because of the “inter-locking serpent” design in its main border and the flatwoven treatment of the panels between the closure slits..
Details of BI24.
Colorful, chevroned panels between slits in closure system.
Gordon took questions and brought his session to a close.
Conversations started up,
some drifted toward Sheila Freeman’s coffee, but a lot moved to get their hands on this material.
I asked Gordon and Russ Pickering to let me take their picture.
I thank Gordon for this session and for being willing to have this virtual version produced. Thanks are also due him for some fairly heavy “editing” of my draft.
I hope you have enjoyed this wandering through some nice Persian, Kurdish and Caucasian bags.
R. John Howe