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Antique Afshar Tribal saddle cover, 34″x64″, D0376


Antique Afshar Saddle Cover



Wool pile with wool foundation (weft and warp):  “wool on wool”.

Made by nomads for personal use; possibly a wedding dowry piece (wherein the bride-to-be was showing off her weaving skills of pragmatic artifacts; in other words she’d make a good wife.)

1 in stock


Antique Afshar Saddle Cover


DIM: 44″x64″

Striking wool on wool tribal saddle cover woven to be used as a blanket cover for a nomad’s saddle.

Beautiful abrash (color variation) from differently dyed wool lots, a mark of authenticity.

This piece makes dramatic use of the boteh design.  It is thought that on the Afshar and Kerman area woven pieces botehs were intended as signs of fertility, welcome and good feelings, although  the meaning is unclear.

The boteh (from Farsi this word may be translated as ‘leaf’, ‘bush’, ‘shrub’ or the like) looks somewhat like a pear, with the top bending to the left or right; sometimes there is a leaf or perhaps truncated stem at the bottom.  The interior is often richly decorated with a wide variety of designs.  What the boteh actually represents – or rather once may have represented – is subject to great speculation and has been much debated by rug scholars, but ultimately remains undecided.    It has been conjectured to represent a leaf, in particular a palm leaf, a bush, a pear, an almond, a pine cone, a fig, a flower blossom, and so on. Yet, despite its appearance in various NE media the boteh, in the words of PRJ Ford, “… does not appear in any known carpet that can be dated to much before 1800.” (Oriental Carpet Design (London 1989) 52-54), who also notes that in Farsi boteh means ‘cluster of leaves’ or ‘bush’.