THE ARDENT ENTHUSIAST

Archives

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… Read More

This was originally published on Bootsnall Travel Journal #1 THE TRIPLEGEM AFGHAN EXPEDITION-SUMMER 2005 5-7/Aug/2005 – Peshawar, Pakistan I flew into Lahore from Bangkok late on the night of the 5th, it was raining – hot muggy rain. I stayed at the notorious Regal Internet Hotel. It reminded me of the Paragon Hotel in Calcutta; freaks on the roof – Japanese, Scotch, German, – and dorm-style accommodations. I slept on a mattress on the floor in… Read More

Here are three more pieces of Kohistani embroidery from my collection. The square piece I bought in Kabul in 1974 and it was probably used to cover flat bread and keep the flies off. The other two pieces were originally a single pillow cover. I found them in a bazaar in the Swat Valley in 1983. I have no idea of their exact ages, but they were old when I found them. My best guess would… Read More

Balkh, Northern Afghanistan – 2002 The Northern Alliance, backed by American firepower, quickly drove the Taliban from Afghanistan in 2001, and  2002 was probably the best year for tomb raiding. I met Sher Mohammad, the local Mujihaddin commander, in an antique shop in Mazar-i-Sharif. He lived in a small village next to some bronze-aged graveyards just outside the walls of Balkh. We hit it off after I recited some Sufi poetry in… Read More

Kohistani Embroidery – silk on cotton; 76cm x 76cm – Late 19th Century This is the first piece of Afghan embroidery that I ever bought … and it turned out to be from the Swat Valley in Northern Pakistan. I shared a house with some friends in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1972 -73. Across the street lived the famed German carpet and textile expert, Thomas Knorr and his wife Undine. His 1973 textile… Read More