The beautiful building of the Museum of Glassware and Ceramic was originally ordered to be built as the personal residence of a politician named Ahmad Qavam in the early 1920s.
The building was his residence and office till 1953 when it was sold to the Egyptian Embassy, IranChamber reported.
When relations were strained between Iran and Egypt at the time of Abdul Nasser and subsequent to the closure of the Egyptian Embassy in Iran, the Commercial Bank purchased the building.
However, it was sold in 1976 and turned into a museum by three groups of Iranian, Austrian and French architects. The museum was opened in 1980 and registered on the National Heritage List in 1998.
The architectural style of the building is a combination of the traditional Iranian and European architectures of the 19th century.
The first floor is connected to the second by wooden steps in Russian style. Prior to the building’s transformation into the Egyptian Embassy, the entrance of the museum was dome-shaped but was later flattened.
The building is located in a garden measuring 7,000 square meters in Tehran.
Objects exhibited in this museum belong to a span of time beginning from pre-Islam period up to contemporary Iran.
There is plenty of exquisite plasterwork performed by Iranian masters on the interior walls of the building.
On the first floor, at the entrance of the museum, the hall showcases the location of archeological sites under excavation.
On the walls are maps showing ancient regions on the Iranian plateau as well as a useful timetable of ancient civilizations. The museum objects, in general, can be divided into five categories, which are displayed in different halls.
Enamel and Crystal Gallery
Potteries in the Enamel Section consist of samples of plain clay vessels having angular and animal patterns.
On some artifacts, the early examples of glass glazes dating back to the 3rd millennium BC can be found.
The collection of Chogha-Zanbil temple glass tubes as well as opaque perfume holders, ornaments and seals exhibited belong to the first and second millennium BC.
In the Crystal Section, Achaemenian and Parthian cut crystal vessels and bottles are displayed for visitors. Various vessels of Sassanian and post-Islam period are also added to this collection bearing molded, applied, pressed and cut decorations.
Nacre and Gold Gallery
The evolution of Sassanian arts and techniques are observed in the Nacre gallery. Some samples of 9th to 13th centuries AD are also exhibited in this gallery. In fact, the flourishing period of glassware and pottery is presented here.
Artifacts presented in the Gold Gallery consist of enameled and luster vessels of the 10th to 13th centuries.
The inscriptions are generally expressions, good prayers and poems attributed to Nezami and Ferdowsi. Patterns are mainly human figures in various ceremonies and animals, especially birds.
Following the damage suffered by the glass and pottery-making centers in Iran, Safavid king, Shah Abbas I, initiated the revival of lapis-lazuli and enhanced it with the help of Chinese and Italian artists.
The objects of these two galleries show marked changes in the forms and decorations of glassware and pottery artifacts using lapis-lazuli stones. Vases, sprinklers and ewers in lapis lazuli and light orange colors belong to Shiraz and Isfahan.
There are also crystal vessels belonging to the 18th and 19th centuries from Europe exhibited in a separate showcase.
A library, located in the northwest section of the gardens surrounding the museum, has approximately 3,000 books in Farsi and English on archeology, history and arts for students and researchers.
Norouz Songs, Plays To Be Performed in Amol
A number of Norouz-singing (Norouzkhani) ceremonies and satirical plays (Siahbazi) will be performed in Amol, Mazandaran province, during Norouz (Iranian New Year starting March 21).
Announcing this, Mohammad Mohammadi, the head of the city’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Department, said the Norouz-singing ceremony will be held in a number of villages during the period. The ceremony, which has been launched in Espah Kola area of Amol, will last till March 19.
Mohammadi said the city’s Headquarters for Welcoming Norouz Travelers has drawn up various plans for the first day of Norouz, adding that the Norouz-Singing Ceremony will also be performed for tourists.
The official said three groups will perform Norouz-singing ceremonies in Amol during Norouz.
Mohammadi noted that a theatrical group is ready to perform Siahbazi during the period.
Norouz-singing is among the ancient ceremonies performed in many parts of Iran, particularly in the northern and southern regions of Iran.
Today, this ceremony is sporadically observed in villages. Norouz singers usually give the news of the coming of spring two weeks prior to the onset of the Iranian New Year. They sing songs in Persian with local dialects. Mohammadi noted that a number of cultural packages will be distributed among tourists.
Back to the Heart
For years, my heart sought the cup of Jamshid from me,
What it had, the heart went pursuing,
From the stranger, it was pursuing
Inner secrets of sacred mysteries.
A pearl beyond the shell of space and time
The pearl my heart was seeking,
The cup my heart was seeking
From those lost on the shore of brine.
Late last night, I took my question
To the elder sage I went,
To solve the riddle I went
For his insight was from God.
What I saw was great laughter and joy.
With overflowing cup
He stood there with the cup
That from within reflected a hundred mysteries.
I asked him then, “ Please tell me when
The sage gave thee the cup? “
He answered that the cup
Was presented on the day heaven was made.
One searching heart was sorely grieving;
Though in his heart was God,
His eye viewed not God,
And so he cried to God while still concealing.
In contrast to sorcery, let wisdom conjure here.
As the twisting staff of Moses
In the glowing hand of Moses
Those very inner mysteries which we hold most dear.
Remember the friend whose claim divine,
“ I am the truth,” said he.
“The secrets are mine,” said he.
Gave up his life for revealing the sign.
If the holy spirit shall will the gift,
Then others may be empowered
With miracles be empowered
Like the Messiah the dead to lift.
“What purpose serves the chain of braids?” says me.
Replied the sage, “It’s a complaint, Hafez,
“From searching, Hafez,
“That comes from a frenzied heart.”
Celebration of Tribes
The Norouz celebration of tribes will be held in Shiraz in Fars province during March 18-24. The celebration will showcase the customs of Iranian tribes.