Sumak saddlebag

Circa 1870
Khamseh region, Northwest Persia
136 cm x 58
4'5" x 1'10"

Antique Caucasian and northwest Persian sumak bags are renowned by collectors for preserving classical patterns from centuries ago. This complete saddlebag shows a central Lesghi star against a madder red ground. This motif can be seen on various Caucasian rugs although it first appears hundreds of years before on a group of early Anatolian rugs. The pattern is highlighted by means of a masterful use of cotton, employed here for the ivory, creating a spectacular contrast. The wide inner border draws large eight-pointed stars, related to the central element, while the narrower outer frame is embellished by polychrome eight-petalled flowers, the latter motif being sometimes used as the main element in other bags from this region. The impeccable condition of this museum quality example places it at the pinnacle for this group of sumak bags.

William T. Price Collection, Amarillo; Private Collection U.S.A.

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