Khorjin / Saddeltaske

 I purchased this beautiful and exceptionally well preserved antique saddlebag on my first day in Iran in 1996. I had just started my adventure and had arrived at the great bazaar in Tehran together with Segatchi. We were sitting enjoying a cup of tea when a man came in and asked Segatchi if he wanted to see some of the things he had for sale. Segatchi agreed, and the man quickly returned, his arms full of small carpets. Segatchi bought many small items from the man, some of them very expensive and well outside my budget. However, I fell for this saddlebag at first glance, and it was affordable so I bought it. When I travelled home from Iran with my head full of exciting experiences, I had it in my suitcase. It has been hanging from its fixed spot in my home ever since, and I still look forward to seeing it every day and thinking back to those days when I had no idea who how exciting experiences were still to come.

The old, beautiful Kurdish Gerus saddlebag is in an unusually good condition and is very special to me. I bought it together with my dear old friend Segatchi when we visited his home town of Hamadan in 1996. This was part of my first trip to Iran. The bag was purchased with the same occasion as the Gerus carpet, which I previously wrote about. Much like the carpet, this type of saddlebag is not something you find often. When you look at the glow, colours and expression of the carpet and the bag, you can clearly see that these two items have something in common and that they originate from the same time and place. They have a certain energy, and I connect them both to a very interesting trip.

 I bought this saddle together with my sister when I was in Neishapor in 2000. It was on an old, worn-out chair at a carpet maker we were visiting. He made cheap versions of Kashmar Nain carpets, so we were only there to learn how things were done. Yet, nonetheless, we found something interesting. It often happens when you least expect it. I asked the carpet maker if I could buy the saddle lying on that old chair. He agreed, and then he took us in the adjacent room where he had a small pile of nomadic items that he had been gathering. This is where we found the salt bag, the three Belouch bags, which are really nice, and of course the small cutlery bag, which is very old and lovely and has been at my place ever since.

I bought this wonderful, antique saddlebag from a random passer-by outside the bazaar at Shiraz in 2008. It was hanging over the luggage rack on his scooter and was stiff as a board from dirt and dust. The man looked very surprised when we asked if he wanted to sell the bag. I do not think he even knew what he had on the back of his scooter. I bought the bag at a very reasonable price, and we were both happy. When I bag was returned after being restored, I was very positively surprised. The wool that the bag was knotted from was very lustrous and fine, so the bag was as soft as silk and with very beautiful colours. This was not easy to see while it was hanging off the back of the scooter in Shiraz.

You are reading an extract from the book ‘Oriental Carpets, Knottet with Love’ by Martin Munkholm.
This extensive book about all that is carpets can be borrowed in Danish libraries or be bought following this link:
The book is published by Muusmann Forlag.
For more info:

You can find our selection of Khorjin carpets underneath.