Friday, May 25, 2007
Antique Salt Bags
I purchased these antique salt bags from a textile restorer Ahmad al Nakhal who runs a small shop near the Jeron Gate behind the Omayad Mosque in Damascus. I was introduced to Ahmad by Monika Spahl a German textile artist living in Damascus ( her work is wonderful). His collection of tribal rugs and salt bags and cushion covers was seriously wonderful and he was very knowledgeable about them all. The bags i purchased are between 60-80 years old and are Turkoman ( it is difficult to get textiles woven in Syria these days) Ahmad also proved to be a very skilled textile restorer and he showed us how he went about it and he told us how he had learnt his trade starting as a boy of 10 and gradually becoming so impassioned by the textiles themselves that he not only reached a very high level of skill in restoration but also in knowledeg of the different weavings from the region. We spent many delightful hours in Ahmad's shop,hearing stories of how he collected and stories of his childhood and modern day life in Damascus. If anyone should go to Syria his shop is well worth a visit- he may not be the cheapest woven textile seller in Damascus but his textiles are genuine and he can tell you so much about them. His little library of books was also wonderful and I wished I had written down all the titles.
I chose these particular salt bags because they were so colourful- and of course I like anything wioth woven reds or terracotta colours.