Item Number Two
The Shahsavan bagface shown as the second weaving in the Salon is very
striking. The octagon guls in the field jump out at you. Possibly because the
white field is cotton?
Looking through the Wertime book Sumak Bags, the border design is seen in a variety of bags, from plate #1, Saveh-Kharaqan, to Kazakh, Qarabagh, Mogan-Savalan and Khamseh.
The Salon bag also appears to possibly have some cotton warps, where it appears a bit lighter than the rest. This is said by Wertime to be used by the Baghdadi.
One of the Wertime bags uses this border motif as the field, plate 13 from the Khamseh region.
Most of the other bags in the Wertime book have arrows in the lobes of the border devices, but this Salon bag has mostly diamonds in the lobes.
The diamonds instead of arrows may point to a later modification of the design, or perhaps a regional variation.
None of the bags in the Wertime book show the particular octagon field devices that the Salon bag has. It is a particularly successful combination.
As Ralph has noted, the juxtaposition of this big, chunky border with the field of colorful octagons sets this bag apart from the rest. The deep green is particularly appealing.
I am sure that the proud original owner of this bag trotted his horse or donkey a little more jauntily!
Here is a khorjin with the same field as Ralph's bagface, but with a simple
medachyl reciprocal border:
The photos are not entirely accurate, since the book I got this from has white pages, not tan. But you can readily see that the octagon guls have the same latchooks within them and the two smaller ornaments in the field between each gul. The field color is white, but with an amber cast due to being all wool. It does not have the striking impact of Ralph's bag decause the guls do not jump out at you like they do when the field is brighter white.
The pictures are from Rare Oriental Woven Bags by Hegenbart. This bag is described as being Hashtrud Moghanly Schah-sevan.
(Azerbaijan's southern border)
There is another bag in the book with the same guls, but lacking the smaller ornaments, on a blue field with white star-octagon border.
There are two bags in the book showing just the border from Ralph's bag as the main field device. They, too, both have arrows at the top and bottom of each motif instead of the diamonds. One is labeled Chamseh Shah-savan and the other is Shah-sesavan from the Boghrov mountain range.
This difference in design details from one bag to the next could easily be due to this design being woven in different areas, rather than one being necessarily an older version than the others.
Interesting observations !
Would the closure system with arrow design give any clues? (the Hegenbart piece does not have closure slits)
The liberal use of cotton is also a factor I would guess, as is the possible use of some cotton in the warps.
And then there are the diamonds. I had a quick look through all my books. This motif is found in most areas, though it seems to predominate in the Moghan and Karabagh region.
So - if pressed - what region would you say Ralph's bagface is from?
I would lean to Karabagh/Qarabagh.
OK OK - l have been re-thinking and re-reading.
Patrick, you wrote;
"This difference in design details from one bag to the next could easily be due to this design being woven in different areas, rather than one being necessarily an older version than the others"
You are referring to the use of quartered diamonds as fillers as opposed to arrows.
I do not think it is possible that this is a regional concept.
The quartered diamond motif (used as a filler) is found right across NWP and up through Azerbaijan. Likewise, the border design is found in many areas (as Patrick has already pointed out)
So I do not think we can infer anything from these particular designs.
The 'crab design' of the field however is one I associate with Moghan Shahsavan weavings. (That is, north of Khamseh, south of Karabagh)
So - I would have to think that Ralph's bagface is from somewhere in the Moghan region. Whether it is Hashtrud or Savalan or somewhere else I do not know. It has been attributed to NWP-Moghan.
Most 'crab design' bags and mafrash have quartered squares as fillers (and not diamonds) So I guess Ralph's piece is unusual. Also, the liberal use of cotton is not common in the Moghan area. This again is confusing me.
Still a lot to learn........:-(
Wertime, in describing plate 1, notes it is closely related to the Moghan-Savalan bags of plates 61 and 80 and different renditions of the border design are found in the adjacent Khamseh province.
So, the border and field designs came from both the north and the south.
He notes that the border design may be a stylized version of the cloud collar motif, also called eli belinde in Turkey, to the west. Considering that the Baghdadi came from Baghdad to NW Persia by way of Khorassan (the east), they likely absorbed numerous designs.
I would not state with certainty a Baghdadi origin, but the cotton (we do not have confirmation that the bagface even has any cotton) in the weaving and warps is an indicator that it may not be Moghan.
Wetime also refers to plate 88 in The Warp and Weft of Islam, Hegenbart plate 21, Tanavoli Shahsavan plates 251 and 252 and Andrews Mafrash pages 242 and 244 as possibly Baghdadi.
I have Hegenbart. Plate 21 has a version of the border of the Kaffel rug, and The Warp and Weft of Islam plate 88 has a "Bakhtiyari Bedding Bag" nearly identical to Hegenbart plate 21. (plate 89 is also described as Bakhtiyari, but is more likely a Kara Koyunlu Kazak. Way back in 1978 they did not have the internet, much less most of the current references available to us now.)
Both have latchooks, but not in an octagon gul type design.
In conclusion, the Kaffel bag could have come from anywhere from NW Persia up to the middle Caucasus. Moghan is certainly a safe bet.
This bagface has no cotton; the white areas are wool. Surfing the net last week I found the mate to this piece on Art Koch's website, http://www.herat.com/, catalog number 239.
The piece on Art Koch's site is for sale. It's legitimate for it to have been mentioned here as another example of the type under consideration, but please don't discuss it in terms of its desirability, quality or price.