Large and Perfect Pearls Emboss the Persian Shahs Tippet

Imagine needing a good hour to inspect a shawl like garment: The Shahs Tippet was so encrusted with large and valuable was difficult to put a price on it.

Sir Harford Jones Brydges' description of the jewels of the Shah of Persia at Tehran is of particular value, since he had formerly dealt in jewels and was an expert in such matters. He says:

I was particularly struck with the king's tippet, a covering for part of his back, his shoulders and his arms, which is only used on the very highest occasions.

It is a piece of pearl work of the most beautiful pattern; the pearls are worked on velvet, but they stand so close together that little, if any, of the velvet is visible.

It took me a good hour to examine this single article, which I have no fear of saying can not be matched in the world.

There was not a single pearl employed in forming this most gorgeous trapping less in size than the largest marrow-fat pea I ever saw raised in England, and many--I should suppose from 150 to 200--the size of a wild plum, and throughout the whole of these pearls, it would puzzle the best jeweler who should examine them most critically to discover in more than 4 or 5 a serious fault.

The tassel is formed of pearls of the most uncommon size and beauty; and the emerald which forms the top of the tassel is perhaps the largest perfect one in the world...For some days after I had seen these jewels, I attempted to make an estimate of their value, but I got so confused in the recollection of their weight and the allowance to be made in some of them for their perfection in water and color, that I gave it up as impossible.

I cannot, however, think I shall much mislead if I say that on a moderate, perhaps a low calculation, their value cannot be less than fifteen millions of our money. (Brydges, "An Account of the Transactions of His Majesty's Mission to the Court of Persia, in the Years 1807-1811," London, 1834, p. 383.)

The Shahs Tippet as recorded by Kunz and Stevenson in "The Book of the Pearl".

Go to Main Famous Pearls and Collections after Shahs Tippet.

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