Lakhai Uzbek Suwari
This Lakhai Uzbek suwari [Shield] is one of the best pieces in my collection. I bought it in Kabul, Afghanistan from Abdul Noor-Sher in 1974 and I’ve had it on display ever since. When I first lived in Kabul, in 1972, Thomas Knorr, an expert on Central Asian textiles, lived across the street from me. He moved back to Germany in 1973 and held a museum exhibition later that year with a British expert named David Lindahl. The exhibition catalog – UZBEK – is now the main reference on the topic and it is cited in the bibliography of every major Central Asian carpet and textile book that has been written since then. In 1976 I received my copy of the book from another old Uzbek friend, Mir-Ayaz. Many of the pieces in my collection were purchased from him at his small shop in a serai in back of the Pul-i-Chisti Mosque near the old bazaar – the one that used to be a covered bazaar until the British burned it down in revenge for losing the First Afghan War.