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10 April 2018‘Treasure of the Black Tent: antique tribal rugs and dowry weavings of the Persian and Central Asian nomads’
08 May 2018‘Man’s Real Best Friend: horses in art and history’
12 June 2018‘Frank Thrower and Dartington Glass’

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‘Treasure of the Black Tent: antique tribal rugs and dowry weavings of the Persian and Central Asian nomads’ Brian Macdonald Tuesday 10 April 2018

We will be taken on a journey beginning in Outer Mongolia in the 5th century BC, to the Caucasus, Persia and Afghanistan, learning about the nomadic tribes of these countries and their woven rugs, carpets and dowry bags.  These tribal weavings illustrate the skill of the women who produced exquisite works of art, using vegetable colours and age-old designs.  Brian will bring with him examples of these, now highly desirable and collectable, works of woven art.


Brian Macdonald - I have been dealing in antique and old tribal rugs, dowry weavings and decorative carpets from the Near East and Central Asia since 1979.

From 1972-1977 I lived and worked in Iran, spending the best part of a year amongst two tribal groups, the Afshar of Kerman province and the Qashqa’i of Fars, making me fortunate enough to be one of the few world dealers to have spent time ‘in the field’. I also travelled extensively throughout Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey and in 1990 I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society for my work amongst the Persian Tribes. I have returned to Iran several times in recent years, travelling, sourcing and collecting exclusive weavings.

I have been a lecturer for NADFAS (The Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies) - to be re-branded as The Arts Society this year - since 1986. The third edition of my book Tribal Rugs – Treasures of the Black Tent is currently being reprinted and will be available from early June 2017. Please e-mail me if you would like to be informed when I have them in my possession.

For 16 years I owned the well reputed Samarkand Galleries in Stow-on-the-Wold, eventually selling the premises in 2005. Today, I continue to work from my base in the English Cotswolds as a dealer, consultant and lecturer, always stocking an exquisite inventory of antique rugs, dowry bags and carpets from the tribes and villages of Persia, Turkey, Afghanistan and Central Asia. What is extremely important to me is quality rather than quantity.

I actively travel throughout the UK sourcing exceptional pieces for clients throughout the world. I am continually ‘finding’ quality antique stock and the items illustrated on this website are by no means my entire inventory.