Persian Bagface 02

(inclusive of taxes)


Material: Wool
Size: 1’5” x 1’9”
Origin: Southwest Persia


Dating back to the late 19th century, this piece is an outstanding example of the front face of a 'khorjin' or donkey bag woven by the Khamseh tribe of south Persia. The centre depicts a 16-pointed Crivelli star containing a juxtaposed double 'four forces' icon. Each of the four corners of the piece is adorned with pecking birds, which are most probably chickens. The bagface has been mounted on a fabric panel for display.

Tribal bags were made by nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes from Western and Central Asia for utilitarian and decorative purposes, usually with the same techniques and styles that they used for weaving rugs. Typically, women made the pieces without a set design in mind during the weaving process, which resulted in the variations in the patterns, and the irregular shapes. These “perfect imperfections” are the delicate nuances that add to the beauty of each one-of-a-kind handwoven piece.

The bags were used by tribal people for transporting goods when they migrated. They also served as storage containers within the tent. Some bags were meant to carry specific items, such as bedding, salt, etc. Often, the back of the bag is not as decorative as the front, or the ‘face’. Collectors of antique tribal bags, would sometimes discard the entire back portion, keeping only the front of the bag, which is also known as a bagface, and has high collectible value.