Antique Tekke Turkoman Mafrash

Antique Tekke Turkoman Mafrash


27 x 70.5 cm


This antique Tekke Turkoman mafrash dates to the middle of the 19th century.

As discussed in connection with another Tekke mafrash on this website (see  ), these small bags were part of a fixed set of dowry pieces to be displayed during the wedding ceremonies. Among these were three different size bags, the juvals (or chuvals), the torbas and the mafrash as the smallest of the three.

The example in hand has a design of four columns of three guls with diagonally opposed quarter segments woven in silk. The silk is dyed with an insect dye, probably cochineal. They are arranged in alternating rectangles, thus creating the visual effect of diagonals.

According to Jon Thompson, the eminent late carpet academic and Turkoman specialist, the personal bags  with this design appear around the middle of the 19th century. A very similar bag is illustrated in Mackie, Louise W. and Jon Thompson, Turkmen. Tribal Carpets and Traditions. The Textile Museum Washington, 1980, page 111, and attributed to the Merv Tekke.

The fineness of the weave and the quality of materials used bear witness to the importance that was attached to weddings in the context of the respective tribal grouping.

Like the other Tekke mafrash on this website, this is a highly collectable work of tribal art.

Wool and silk on a wool foundation