Sumak saddlebag half

Circa 1850
Qeydar, Khamseh region, Northwest Persia
65 cm x 58
2'1" x 1'10"

The attribution of this fine sumak bag to Qeydar is based on Parviz Tanavoli’s seminal work on the Shahsavan, as he attributes a virtually identical example to this town, located in the heart of the Khamseh region (Tanavoli 1985, plate 186). The slightly larger format accommodates here a stepped central polygon which is related to the Memling gul as it appears on other sumak bags of the region. This is contained within a hooked diamond resting inside a cartouche with hooked appendages, punctuated by what looks like a neat arrangement of stars against a dark blue sky. The feeling is that of being faced by a truly ancient motif, possibly a tribal emblem of sorts. The border of polychrome octagons containing a stylised zoomorphic motif only reinforces the archaic mood of this rare and beautiful example.

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