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Thread: Flat weave bags
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Old June 4th, 2017, 09:10 PM   #8
Rich Larkin
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 155

Hi Gerry,

Here is a piece that seems to be a cousin to your bags. The palettes are very similar. Mine includes a dark green that isn't especially obvious in the image.

What is left of the back is original (i. e., not attached from another venue), and it makes the possibility of your backs being original more plausible (though that would seem to make the mafrash attribution problematical...see comment below). If your backs were stitched on, you should be able to detect that, either by eye or by feel. The joint would feel thickened relative to the rest of the piece.

I noted that the palettes on the fronts and backs of yours, respectively, didn't seem closely related; but one might say the same of my piece. You may agree that on mine, the red stripes on the back look more the shade of wine than the red on the front side. In fact, looking at mine closely, there is a very subtle change in the color of the yarn that begins just to the left of the black (brown?)/white beaded line. The color difference is consistent on either side of that line of demarcation. Whether it was intentional, or coincidental that a different skein of wool was utilized at that juncture, I can't say.

I imagine my item could be a remnant part of a mafrash. If so, what remains would be an end piece, and the striped kilim part would originally have been longer, serving as the bottom and having the same length as the sides. On that other hand, if your pair were formerly mafrash parts, the backs seem problematical. The orientation of the warps on the striped backs of your bags is ninety degrees different from the orientation of mine. I don't know whether warps along the bottom of a mafrash are supposed to run the length of the "box," or from side to side (as would be the case with yours), or either way. Maybe somebody knows.

As to age, I would think both pieces were from sometime in the mid-20th century. Can't be more definite than that.


P. S.: Marla, it is very useful to have the information that the interlocked weft technique is typically found in South Persian work. I had been calling my fragment "Kurdish," which I guess is my default position for something funkily tribal without an obvious (to me!) identity.
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