Sun Bow Trading: Source Acquisition of Fine Tribal and Nomadic Textile Art Since 1978
Tribal and Nomadic Art for Sale
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The Sun Bow Collection
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Tribal Textiles 101
Care and Feeding of Your Sun Bow Rugs
Investing in Tribal and Nomadic Textiles
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The Sun Bow Story
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Investing in Tribal and Nomadic Textiles
Tribal rugs and textiles are recognized as investment quality collectibles and are auctioned as such by all the major auction houses, which have their own rug departments and put on their own rug sales.

In the United States, Sotheby's, Christie's, and Skinners have specific auctions at least twice a year, devoted solely to Oriental rugs (both decorative and tribal/use), and print full color catalogs for these auctions. The auction houses would not do this if there were not an active and lucrative market for tribal textiles.

Perhaps the best part of considering collectible weavings as an investment is that their presence in your home enhances the artistic atmosphere and brings you many hours of enjoyment. Thus, not only can you receive a financial return on your investment, but you receive the cultural and artistic benefits. In addition, for the cost of one "mid-level" Impressionist painting, you can amass a major, world-class and museum quality collection of Tribal & Nomadic Textiles.

There is also an educational benefit to be gained by researching the textiles, attending conferences, joining rug societies, and more. Do note that most members of rug societies are collectors of Tribal & Nomadic Textiles, rather than decorative or courtly carpets.

It is instructive to note, too, that museums do not usually collect copies or mass-produced items. All 19th century courtly oriental carpets, although very expensive, fall into this category. Museum-quality items are the truly one-of-a-kind "use" items, woven by tribal women for usage by their own families.

As we move further and further away from the days of active nomadic migrations and therefore the need for making/weaving all of the "use" items, we can observe that there are far fewer examples of this unique women's art form left to collect at the source. The "use" items that women made ranged from clothing to storage and cartage bags and from the felt of the dwellings to the ornamentation on their everyday items. In the 25 years Sun Bow Trading Company has been collecting at the source, we have observed that not only are there fewer examples from which to select, but that there are more people interested in the few pieces which remain.

Collecting tribal textiles is an ancient and honorable pastime. Henry VIII was a major collector of his time and was so proud of his collection of central Anatolian carpets that he posed for his portrait while standing on one.

Other historical figures who collected carpets and textiles include Peter the Great, Eleanor of Castile (wife of Edward I of England), Cardinal Wolsey, Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, and Baron Maurice de Rothschild. Even Pope John XXII collected rugs for his palace at Avignon.

In more modern times, J. Paul Getty and John D. Rockefeller amassed famous collections.

Artists, historically, have been fascinated and inspired by textiles from along the Silk Road. These include the Renaissance artists Lotto and Holbein, the Dutch Masters Vermeer and van Eyck, as well as more contemporary artists like Phillip Pearlstein

In the 19th century, the Orientalists portrayed textiles as an integral part of Oriental fantasies, and thereby created popular imagery that exists to this very day.

This is an excellent time to join the movers and shakers of history and begin your own collection. Enough great examples still remain to assemble an important collection, and to date, prices have not reached a point where a second mortgage is needed to purchase an additional piece or two.

If you are interested in beginning a collection of Tribal & Nomadic Textiles, please contact us. We will be pleased to discuss this with you.

We've been outfitting caravans
from Downtown Charlottesville since 1978.
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  Store Address
by appointment only

Sun Bow Trading Company
900 C Harris Street
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903

Mailing Address
Sun Bow Trading Company
P.O. Box 1482
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902