Persian Information on Pearls

Enjoy historic Persian information on pearls and view an ancient Susa pearl necklace J. de Morgan which I photographed in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.

Ancient pearl Necklace in Louvre Museum
Ancient Pearl Necklace in Louvre Museum found by J. de Morgan Photo by Kari

In Persia, the popularity of pearls seems to date from a very early period. Professor Jackson states that if they are not mentioned in the extant fragments of the ancient Zoroastrian literature, the Avesta and the Pahlavi, or by the Middle Persian books from the seventh century B.C. to the ninth century A.D., it is probably a mere accident, due to the character of the work or to the fragmentary condition of the literature; for pearls were well known during that entire period, and seem to be indicted in extant sculptures.

Pearl Necklace found by MorganPearl Necklace found by Morgan Photo by Kari

The coin and the gem portraits of Persian queens commonly show ear-pendants of these. The remains of a magnificent necklace of pearls and other gems were recently found by J. de Morgan in the sarcophagus of an Achaemenid princess exhumed at Susa or Shushan, the winter residence of the kings of Persia. This necklace, perhaps the most ancient pearl ornament still in existence, dates certainly from not later than the fourth century B.C., and is now preserved in the Persian Gallery of the Louvre. Even if we had no other evidence, it would be natural to assume that the knowledge of pearls was as wide-spread among the Iranians in antiquity as it was among the Hindus, since the Persian Gulf, like the Indian Ocean, has been famous for its fisheries from ancient times.

Susa Pearls
Susa Pearls
(Notice this is the same necklace I photographed in the Louvre)

Read more about this Susa necklace here.
Enjoy more information on pearls after Persian information on pearls.

Thanks to Kunz & Stevenson for this Persian information on pearls from their 1908 book.

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