Tent and Wall Hangings

Textiles were steeped in tradition and integral to central Asian life. Every piece a woman made had its specific function and place in the home, whether yurt or mud-brick house. The nomad’s tent itself was made from textiles. On the exterior, heavy wool felt kept out the fiercest winds, cold, and heat. Inside, knotted-pile and flat-weave carpets or felt rugs covered the earthern floor. Patterned wool tent bands helped secure the wooden frame.

Along with functional storage bags, embroidered decorative hangings were hung for aesthetic pleasure as well as to show off the women’s sewing skills. Protective symbols were also incorporated into the patterns, such as stylized scorpions, ram’s horns, and triangular-shaped amulets. Motifs were passed down from generation to generation within tribes. For example, Kyrgyz embroideries have a distinctive look from Lakai pieces, but what they all have in common is a love of pattern, color, and an amazing attention to detail – from the skillful stitching to the handmade fringe and tassels.

"AINA KHALTA" MIRROR BAG (ATTHVFRT-178)

Uzbekistan, 2nd quarter 20th century

19” x 19” (not including fringe)
2” hand-made twisted cotton fringe (2.75” of fringe missing from top corner)
Silk hand-embroidery on fine black velvet
Backed with Russian roller-printed printed cotton fabric
Good condition – some light fading to red embroidery
Lining print Illustrated in RUSSIAN TEXTILES page 120

Small embroideries like this are often called “mirror bags” (aina khalta).
Originally they were backed with a cloth pouch in order to hold a mirror or other small items. More recently, they were simply used as decorative hangings.

The central motif is a stylized sun disk; the four corner images represent rams’ horns that are talismanic emblems.

Price: $100.00
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KAZAKH TUS KIIS (ATTHOTNB-177)

Dated 1985

This may be from the Altai Mountain region bordering Mongolia. Dated 1985
55.5” high x 80” wide
Machine-embroidered chain stitch on cotton
Machine-quilted red cotton border
Unlined
Very good condition except for stain on top floral border

Tus kiiz (Kazakh) and tush kiyiz (Kyrgyz) were often made by a grandmother for a newly married couple, or handed down from mother to daughter. They were deliberately left unfinished at the bottom to ensure that the marriage would continue to bring unbounded happiness. As part of the wedding ceremony, the bride sat in a curtained-off area in front of the tus kiiz. Later it was either hung over the newlyweds’ bed or in the place of honor (tor) – along the back wall of the yurt.

While tus kiis patterns from the Altai Mountain region that borders on Mongolia often have a distinct Mongolian/Chinese influence, this example is more evocative of Russian folk embroidery.

Price: $150.00
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WALL HANGING "ZARDEVOR" (ATTHSC-176)

Kattakurgan, Uzbekistan. Circa mid-20th century

121” x 25” (including 3″ netting and tassels)
Silk hand- embroidery on black cotton sateen
Handmade silk netting and tassels
Intricate machine-embroidered black cotton border
Unlined
Good used condition – 5” of fringe missing from left edge
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON, pages 202-203

This piece, called a “zardevor” or a “dorpech”, was made to hang just below the ceiling of an important room and served as a sort of frieze along one or more walls. Often it was embroidered with words of good wishes or auspicious motifs. This piece has one old pearl button sewn in the center as an amulet to ward off evil spirits.

Price: $100.00
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"AINA KHALTA" MIRROR BAG (ATTHBBRT-162)

Uzbekistan, 3rd quarter 20th century

24” x 24” (not including fringe)
2” hand-made twisted cotton fringe with metal spangles and small white glass beads
Silk hand-embroidery on maroon cotton
Silk ikat borders
Backed with printed cotton
Very good condition
Lining print Illustrated in RUSSIAN TEXTILES page 127

Small embroideries like this are often called “mirror bags” (aina khalta).
Originally they were backed with a cloth pouch in order to hold a mirror or other small items. More recently, they were simply used as decorative hangings.

Price: $75.00
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WALL HANGING (ATBBTHNB-171)

Uzbekistan, mid-20th century with 19th century ikat

19” x 19” (not including 2.5” dark green cotton fringe)
All cotton except for adras (silk warp/cotton weft) ikat center
Backed with cotton prints
Hand-woven tape border
Fair condition – ikat has damage as seen in detail photo; top left corner of hanging is damaged as seen in detail photo

This hanging was probably made in the mid-20th century. A recycled 19th century piece of handmade adras ikat from an old ikat robe was used in the center.

While this has some condition issues, it still makes an attractive wall hanging – and the two prints on the backing could serve as inspiration for a textile designer.

Price: $50.00
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UZBEK DOWRY RUIJO (ATTHOTSC-159)

Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Mid-20th century

79” x 63”
Silk hand- embroidery on cotton sateen
Blue cotton trim
Unlined
Good condition except for discoloration in center panel; a few minor holes
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON, page 199

A ruijo was a young woman’s dowry textile. It would be used as a bedsheet on a newlyweds’ bed. Called a “ruijo” in the Bukhara region or “choishab” in Tashkent, it was patterned on three sides. The center panel was traditionally left plain. While similar in style to a prayer mat (“joinomoz”), the ruijo was larger and the niche was not pointed.

The teapots are symbols of hospitality. The narrow outer border pattern is typical of Samarkand embroideries from this period.

Price: $75.00
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WALL HANGING (ATBBTHNB-145)

Uzbekistan, mid-20th century

17” x 17” (as shown)
Silk chain stitch on cotton ground cloth
Silk fringe with metal spangles and little clear beads
Backed with dark gray cotton fabric
Very good condition

Small embroideries like this are often called “mirror bags” (aina khalta).
Originally they were backed with a cloth pouch in order to hold a mirror or other small items. More recently, they were simply used as decorative hangings.

Price: $35.00
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LENIN RUG (ATOTTHSC-137)

Uzbekistan, circa 1960s

78” x 66”
Hand-knotted wool pile with cotton weft
Cotton fringe
Excellent condition – no color runs, stains, moth holes, or any other damage
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON page 198

Cult of Personality rugs with larger-than-life portraits of Soviet leaders were popular during this period. They were used mainly as wall hangings.

This rug features Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924) in an iconic pose against a bold splash of red. Traditional Central Asian rug motifs make up the border.
The Cyrillic letters spell out: “V.I. Lenin”.

The last four photos show the reverse side of the rug.

Price: $500.00
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IKAT PANEL (ATTHOTSC-108)

Samarkand, Uzbekistan. 1960s

84” x 56”
Silk atlas ikat; blue weft
Unlined
Good condition – no tears, fading, or color runs. Some small scattered dark specks and some minor stains.
lllustrated in SILK and COTTON page 213

Ikat panels like this were woven on an extra-large loom that enabled the creation of large-scale, one-piece ikats that could be used as hangings or quilt tops. This type of ikat was produced as early as 1918 and as late as the 1960s. This piece was made in the Samarkand silk factory 26 Bakinskih Komissarov.

Price: $150.00
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IKAT PANEL (ATTHOTSC-107)

Samarkand, Uzbekistan. 1960s

84” x 56”
Silk atlas ikat; red weft
Unlined
Excellent condition
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON page 213

Ikat panels like this were woven on an extra-large loom that enabled the creation of large-scale, one-piece ikats that could be used as hangings or quilt tops. This type of ikat was produced as early as 1918 and as late as the 1960s.

Price: $100.00
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CRADLE COVER (ATOTTHSC-104)

Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Third quarter 20th century

57” x 64”
Hand-embroidered cotton couching and chain stitch on cotton
Black cotton trim
Unlined
Very good condition
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON, page 194

A traditional baby cradle (beshik) was crafted of wood with a horizontal turned handle. A mattress was laid in the cradle and after the baby was swaddled in, a cover (beshikpush) was draped over the top rail to keep out drafts, light, insects, and any jealous evil spirits.
The pattern on the cover was designed to conform to the cradle structure as seen in the photo of an Uzbek woman rocking a cradle with cover.

The bottom photograph from the Library of Congress, 1871-72, shows a cradle maker in the Samarkand bazaar.

Price: $125.00
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MIRROR BAG (ATTHSC-102)

Uzbekistan, 3rd quarter 20th century

18” x 16” as shown
Silk hand-embroidered chain stitch and couching stitch on cotton
Backed with printed cotton stripe
Silk fringe
Excellent condition
Illustrated in SILK and COTTON page 214

Small embroideries like this are often called “mirror bags” (aina khalta).
Originally they were backed with a cloth pouch in order to hold a mirror or other small items. More recently…

Price: $75.00
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