Monday, October 29, 2012
This tiny bag, measuring 18 x 20 cms, also came to me from Lebanon. Its attribution to the Luri seems probable, given the coarse knotting and the flatweave panel at the bottom (actually the top, because it would have been made upside-down, judging by the direction of the symmetrical knots). It has a gabbeh-like charm, and may have been woven by a young girl, given its lack of technical skill. Note the 'wedges' inserted about halfway up the bag, presumably added (by a mother?) to steady the shape.
This flatweave bag was sold to me by a dealer in Lebanon who described it as a 'tutundan' or tobacco/opium pouch. It looks a bit like a truncated salt bag, or 'namakdan'. So it's not a chanteh, strictly speaking, but it's close enough to be included here. It measures 19 by 34 cms, and it strikes me as being rather big for a tobacco pouch - but that's only my hunch. There would originally have been a cord attached to the top of the 'flap', which would have been turned over the back, keeping the contents safe. It has a cotton warp and a typically coloured Afshar back, so the attribution to the Afshar seems probable. I really like the embroidered blue flowers on the left side, which gives the bag a curious but appealing asymmetry.
Another purchase from Turkey - this time a bag that is far from being the most beautiful I've ever seen, but one that is full of interest. Double-fronted chantehs in pile are not very common, and this example, using a standard 'bird's-head medallion' motif that mirrors itself, shows the evidence of at least two changes of plan on the part of the weaver. The way the second image reads indicates the fall of the symmetrical knots, so the weaver started with the pile 'Qashqai frieze', which she didn't use at the other end. There is also a shift in the design of the borders. One of the things I like about this bag is the coarse repair - very probably a practical tribal effort, as no dealer or restorer would try to get away with anything so unskilled. It measures 49 by 29 cms, and is probably Luri.