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Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

And a charming red carpet from Sultanabad


At

the further end of the Museum, reached by three steps, was a gaudy throne chair of solid gold and silver enamelled. The throne had amphoras at the sides and a sunflower in diamonds behind it. The seat was of red brocade, and the chair had very small arms. It rested on a six-legged platform with two supports and two ugly candelabras.

A glance at the remaining glass cases of the museum reveals the same confusion; everything smothered in dust, everything uncared for. One's eye detects at once a valuable set of china, and some lovely axes, pistols and swords inlaid in gold, ivory and silver. Then come busts of Bismarck and Moltke, a plaster clown, tawdry painted fans and tortoiseshell ones; a set of the most common blue table-service, and two high candelabras, green and white; a leather dressing-bag with silver fittings (unused), automatic musical figures, shilling candlesticks, artificial coloured fruit in marble, and a really splendid silver dinner-service.

From the Museum we passed into the _Atch_, a kind of store-room, wherein were numberless cigar-boxes, wicker-work baskets, and badly-kept tiger skins. Here were photographs of some of the Shah's favourites, a great assortment of nut-crackers--the Persians love walnuts--cheap prints in profusion, and some good antelope-skins.

This led into the banqueting room, in the European style--and quite a good, sober style this time.

The room was lighted by column candelabras, and there was a collection of the Shah's family portraits in medallions; also a large-sized phonograph, which is said to afford much amusement to His Majesty and his guests.

The paintings on the walls ran very much to the nude, and none were very remarkable, if one excepts a life-size nude figure of a woman sitting and in the act of caressing a dove. It is a very clever copy of a painting by Foragne in the Shah's picture gallery, and has been done by a Persian artist named Kamaol-el-Mulk, who, I was told, had studied in Paris.

Most interesting of all in the room, however, was the exquisite old carpet with a delightful design of roses. It was the carpet that Nasr-ed-din Shah brought to Europe with him to spread under his chair.

The dining-room bore evident signs of His Majesty's hasty departure for the country. On the tables were piled up anyhow mountains of dishes, plates, wine-glasses, and accessories, the table service made in Europe being in most excellent taste, white and gold with a small circle in which the Persian "Lion and Sun" were surmounted by the regal crown.

[Illustration: In the Shah's Palace Grounds, Teheran.]

We go next into the Shah's favourite apartments, where he spends most of his time when in Teheran. We are now in the small room in which I had already been received in audience by his Majesty on his birthday, a room made entirely of mirrors. There was a low and luxurious red couch on the floor, and we trod on magnificent soft silk carpets of lovely designs. One could not resist feeling with one's fingers the deliciously soft Kerman rug of a fascinating artistic green, and a charming red carpet from Sultanabad. The others came from Isfahan and Kashan. The most valuable and beautiful of all, however, was the white rug, made in Sultanabad, on which the Shah stands when receiving in audience.

Next after the carpets, a large clock by Benson with no less than thirteen different dials, which told one at a glance the year, the month, the week, the day, the moon, the hour, minutes, seconds, and anything else one might wish to know, was perhaps the most noticeable item in the Shah's room.


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