Storage Bag (Chuval) Face

Object Name: Storage bag

Date: early 19th century

Geography: Central Asia

Culture: Islamic

Medium: Wool (warp, weft and pile), cotton (weft); asymmetrically knotted pile

Dimensions: Rug: H. 29 1/2 in. (74.9 cm)
W. 54 1/2 in. (138.4 cm)

Classification: Textiles-Rugs

Credit Line: The James F. Ballard Collection, Gift of James F. Ballard, 1922

Accession Number: 22.100.40a


Identifiable by the unique design vocabulary adopted by each Turkoman tribal group, this rare and important textile is one of only a few known works attributed to the Arabatchi. Measuring nearly five feet in width, the deep red field of this piece, punctuated by an unusual green fret design, is worked entirely in knotted pile. Although identical in technique to that used for carpet weaving, this large fragment once formed the front face of a deep storage bag, or chuval. Suspended from the trellis-like structure of Turkoman tent interiors, these chuval served to hold family belongings—somewhat akin to a wardrobe, but much more portable. This extraordinary piece is one of a nearly-identical pair of Arabatchi chuval bag faces preserved in the Museum's collection.