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The Peacock Throne, called Takht-e Tāvūs (Persian: تخت طاووس) in Persian, is a famous golden throne that was originally built for the Mughal emperor Shāh Jahān in the early 17th century. The throne was subsequently captured by Persian leader Nader Shah in 1739. The name was later adopted and used to describe the thrones of Persian rulers.
The name comes from the design of a throne, having the figures of two peacocks standing behind it with their tails being expanded. The throne is inlaid with sapphires, rubies, emeralds, pearls and other precious stones to represent the colours of the feathers.
The French jeweller Tavernier, who visited Dehli in 1665, described the throne as of the shape of a bed (a "takhteh" or platform), 6 feet (1.8 m) by 4 feet (1.2 m), supported by four golden feet, 20 inches (51 cm) to 25 inches (64 cm) high, from the bars above which rose twelve columns to support the canopy; the bars were decorated with crosses of rubies and emeralds, and also with diamonds and pearls. In all there were 108 large rubies on the throne and 116 emeralds. The twelve columns supporting the canopy were decorated with rows of pearls, which Tavernier considered to be the most valuable part of the throne. Contemporary estimates of its value varied between Rs. 40 million and Rs. 100 million.
According to an article by the Sunday Tribune in India,
- It was, accordingly, ordered that, in addition to the jewels in the imperial jewel house, rubies, garnets, diamonds, rich pearls and emeralds in all weighing 230 kg should be brought for the inspection of the Emperor and they should be handed over to Bebadal Khan, the superintendent of the goldsmith’s department. There was also to be given to him 1150 kg of pure gold..... The throne was to be three yards in length, two-and-a-half in breadth and five in height and was to be set with the above mentioned jewels. The outside of the canopy was to be of enamel work with occasional gems, the inside was to be thickly set with rubies, garnets and other jewels, and it was to be supported by 12 emerald columns. On the top of each pillar there were to be two peacocks, thick-set with gems and between each two peacocks a tree set with rubies and diamonds, emeralds and pearls. The ascent was to consist of three steps set with jewels of fine water". Of the 11 jewelled recesses formed around it for cushions, the middle one was intended for the seat it for Emperor. Among the historical diamonds decorating it were the famous Kohinoor (186 carats), the Akbar Shah (95 carats), the Shah (88.77 carats), the Jehangir (83 carats) and the second largest spinel ruby in the world — the Timur ruby (283 carats). A-20 couplet poem by the Mughal poet-laureate Qudsi, praising the Emperor in emerald letters was embedded in the throne.
The throne was created in the 17th century for the Mughal Badshah Shah Jahan of India, and he had the famous Koh-i-noor diamond placed in it. The throne stood in his imperial capital Delhi's public audience hall, the Divān-i'-Ām.
Nader Shah invaded the Mughal Empire in 1738, and returned to Persia in 1739 with the original Peacock Throne as well as many other treasures, amounting to a large reduction in Indian wealth, taken from the Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah.
When Nader Shah was assassinated in 1747, the original Peacock Throne disappeared, either stolen or dismantled in the ensuing chaos. Rumours claimed the throne was given to the Ottoman Sultan. However, later Iranian thrones were erroneously referred to as Peacock Thrones, although they resemble a chair rather than a platform. An example of such a throne is the Naderi throne, built in 1812 for Fath Ali Shah Qajar. Another Iranian throne, built in 1836 for Muhammad Shāh Qājar, is in the shape of platform with legs that resemble the Indian Mughal paintings of the original Peacock Throne, and may incorporate parts of the original throne. This throne was known as the Takht-i Khurshīd, or the "Sun Throne", after a radiant sun disk on the headboard. This throne is also called the Peacock Throne, although only the legs and some other parts may be from the original throne.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Peacock Throne.|
- Imperial Crown Jewels of Persia
- Koh-i-noor diamond
- Darya-ye Noor Diamond
- Naderi throne
- Dragon Throne
- Chrysanthemum Throne
- Phoenix Throne
- Lion Throne
- ""The Way of the Master – The Great Artists of India, 1100–1900" @ Museum Rietberg in Zurich". Eloge de l'Art par Alain Truong. April 30, 2011.
- Swany, K.R.N. "As priceless as the Peacock Throne," The Tribune (India). January 30, 2000.
- Mehmet Onder - Antika - The Turkish Journal of Collectable Art, May 1985, Issue: 2
- Curzon, George Nathaniel. (1892). Persia and the Persian Question.'Longmans, Green & Co. [http://www.worldcat.org/wcpa/oclc/3444074 OCLC 3444074
- Hansen, Waldemar. (1986). The Peacock Throne: The Drama of Mogul India. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass . 10-ISBN 81-208-0225-X; 13-ISBN 978-81-208-0225-4; OCLC 18734087
- Williams, David. (1858). The preceptor's assistant, or, Miscellaneous questions in general history, literature, and science. London: By Simpkin, Marshall. OCLC 63065688