Shahsevan cradle / bedding bag
from the southern Caucasus
late 19th century
Size: 103 x 39 x 39 cm
The Shahsevan are a turkic – speaking confederacy of mixed ethnic origin in northwest Persia. Over time they have also inhabited parts of the southern Caucasus. Shahsavan in Turkic literally means ‘Lovers of the Shah’, implying those loyal to the ruler.
Such rectangular bags were used for storing bedding and as a baby’s cradle. They were made in three separate panels in sumak and plain weave. Many Caucasian or north Persian weavings are in ‘sumak’ technique, also a favourite technique for saddle bags and horsecovers. These weavings have provided fertile ground for collectors since there are many small domestic trappings upon which the women weavers have lavished their finest and most creative work. These items were cherished and passed down through the family.