Sunday, January 04, 2004

The Three Famous Persian Thrones

There are three thrones located in Tehran. The Sun Throne (also known as the Peacock Throne), the Marble Throne and the Naderi Throne. Chair-like thrones like this were used in ancient Iran by Achaemenid dynasty in the 5th century BC, as well as the 17th century Safavid dynasty.

The Naderi Throne:
The Naderi throne be taken apart into 12 separate sections. It was intended to be portable, to be carried along when the King moved to his summer residences. The throne is constructed of wood, covered with gold, and encrusted with jewels. The history of this throne is not well known. Even its name is confusing. This particular throne has verses written on it which attribute it to Fathali Shah. Diaries written by travellers who visited Fathali Shah's court at the time also mention a throne such as this one, though the throne may have been refurbished by Nasseridin Shah. So why is it called the Naderi throne if it is not related to Nader Shah? The answer is the the term "Nader" also means "rare" or "unique" in the Persian language. Thus, this isn't Nader's Throne, rather the name refers to the fact that the throne is unique or rare.
The height of the throne is approximately 225 cm. Among the 26,733 jewels covering the throne, there are four very large spinels on the backrest, the largest of which is 65 cts.; there are also four very large emeralds on the backrest too, the largest of which is approximately 225 cts. The largest ruby on the throne is 35 cts.
The designs which can be seen on the throne include a peacock tail on the backrest, ducks, dragons, leaves and tree branches. A rather tame-looking lion rests on the front panel of the footstool.

Picture of the Naderi Throne:
http://www.iranchamber.com/museum/royal_jewels/images/14_naderi_throne.jpg

Picture of Mohammad Reza Shah's coronation sitting on the Naderi Throne (1967):
http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Base/1406/jewel/coronation.jpg

The Peacock Throne:
During the reign of Fathali Shah and by his order, a great throne was made under the supervision of Nezamoldoleh Mohammad Hossein Khan Sadr Isfahani, the governor of Isfahan, using gold and loose stones from the treasury. As a motif of the sun, encrusted with jewels, was used on the top of the throne, it became known as the Sun Throne. The throne was later called the Peacock Throne, after Fathali Shah's marriage to Tavous Khanoum Tajodoleh who was known as Lady Peacock because her first name, Tavous, is the Persian word for a peacock.
Thus, this "Peacock Throne" has often been confused with the famous Peacock Throne of the Mughol dynasty in India, which was captured by Nader Shah during his campaigns in that country.
Some years after the death of Fathali Shah, Nasseridin Shah ordered some repairs to be made to the throne, adding some panels to it bearing calligraphic verse.
This throne was kept in the Golestan Palace until September 6th, 1980. At that date, it was relocated to the vault of the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, where it is on display for the benefit of the public along with the rest of the Imperial jewels.

Pictures of the Peacock Throne:
http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Base/1406/jewel/18.jpg
http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Base/1406/throne.jpg

Picture of Nasseridin Shah sitting on the steps of the Peacock Throne:
http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Base/1406/jewel/nasseridinshah.jpg

Picture of Nassereddin Shah Qajar and Ezzat Doleh (King's sister) and thier mother,Mahde-Olia sitting on the Peacock Throne:
http://www.hoveyda.org/peacock.jpg

Picture of Nader shah's Tomb:
http://www.farsinet.com/mashhad/images/nader_shah.jpg

The Marble Throne:
The spectacular terrace known as Takht-e-Marmar (Marble Throne) was built in 1806 by order of Fath Ali Shah Qajar (r. 1797-1834). The Marble Throne is one of the oldest buildings of the historic Arg. The existing throne, which is situated in the middle of the terrace (iwan), is made of the famous yellow marble of Yazd province.
The throne is made of sixty-five pieces of marble and was designed by Mirza Baba Naghash Bashi (head painter) of the Qajar court. Mohammad Ebrahim, the Royal Mason, oversaw the construction and several celebrated masters of the time worked on the execution of this masterpiece.
Coronations of Qajar kings, and formal court ceremonies were held on this terrace (iwan). The last coronation to be held at Takht-e-Marmar was the coronation of, the self-proclaimed King, Reza Khan Pahlavi in 1925.

Pictures of the Marble Throne:
http://community.webshots.com/s/image3/8/71/35/5987135MQAhFApxOe_ph.jpg
http://www.golestanpalace.org/images/pics/mar2.jpg

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