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Bag face

Bag face

  • Place of origin:

    Central Asia (made)

  • Date:

    19th century (made)

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Wall-bag or decoration for a camel litter.

WARP: cream wool. Z2S; 18 threads per inch (78 per dm).

WEFT: (1) knotted side: cream wool; Z5S; 2 parallel threads per shoot; 2 shoots after each row of knots; 19 knots per inch (78 per dm). (2) Kelim back: cream wool; Z spun, unplied; 2 parallel threads per shoot; 1 shoot after each row of knots.

PILE: wool and silk; 9 colours: red, orange (faded from bright red), yellow silk, green, dark blue, blue silk, pink, brown, white, symmetrical knot tied around 2 threads with some Jufti knots; 171 knots per sq. inch (3042 per sq. dm).

SIDE FINISH: 2 cords overcast with red wool. A plaited woollen braid has been sewn on each side. These extend above the bag totalling 132 cms. Each ends with the plait divided into 2 and bound with yellow, red and pink silk alternating with dark blue wool and added woollen tassels. Similarly bound threads and tassels are sewn down the braiding and hang for 66 cms. down the side. The kelim back has returned wefts.

END FINISH: Lower: plain kelim folded to form the bag and stitched along the sides. There is an added fringe of dark blue wool knotted immediately at the end of the pile with maximum length of 38 cms. Upper: plain weave with dark blue wool weft; 2 shoots of red and then cream, turned under and stiched into place.

DESIGN: central band of alternating pink and brown narrow octagons outlined in blue and white and containing a gul outlined in dark blue and subdivided into four colours. Upper and lower bands contain six five-sided niches outlined in orange and containing a stylised sprig of flowers and leaves on an orange stem. The design in these bands above and below the guls is of alternating pink and brown blocks outlined in white and divided by bands of flowerheads. The blocks end with inward-facing horns on their inward side and the niches with outward facing horns.

Borders: there are three borders separated by orange and dark blue. The inner and outer borders have an S-motif in a variety of colours each on either a red or brown ground. The S is within a lozenge and some of them are knotted in silk.

Middle border has compartments divided by blocks of red outlined in dark blue with prominent white and other colours in regular geometric patterns.

Beyond these borders: red ground with narrow band in dark blue with white, red, orange and yellow spots and an outer band of dark blue knots at the bottom and two rows of dark blue Jufti knots at each side.

Date catalogued: 4.10.94

Place of Origin

Central Asia (made)


19th century (made)


Length: 71 cm maximum, Length: 29 cm minimum, Width: 128 cm maximum, Width: 125 cm minimum

Production Note

Mentioned in "Turkoman Rugs in the V & A", by M. Franses and R. Pinner (intro. by Donald King). Analysis by L. Pinner. Hali 1980, Vol. 2, No. 4, p. 302, 304, 305, 315.

cf: Elena Tzareva (1984) ill. 15 "Saryktorba, first half 19th century", ill. 112. "Arabatchi (Ersari group) asmalyk, not later than mid 19th century"
Azadi (1975) ill. 31, 'Saryktorba, 19th century'.

NB: Jon Thompson (1983) ill. top P.15, "Saryk Turkmen, 19th century".


Wool; Silk


Middle East Section

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