Water Decanter and Basin
This water decanter and basin were used to wash the hands of the Shah and his guests prior to and after meals. According to accounts by 17th and 18th century French and English travellers, the water was usually warm and scented with rosewater. One servant would pour the water over the diner's hands by tilting the decanter, while another servant held the basin beneath his hands to catch the water. The custom was common throughout the country and among all classes, so a basin and water decanter could be found in practically every household. Of course, few would have been as ornate. This particular water decanter and basin were carried by the Shah's entourage, along with his slippers, his sword, mace and staff, his waterpipe and his tobacco humidifier.
The basin is 10.5 cm. high, 29.5 cm. in diameter, and weighs 1870 grams. It is made of solid gold, decorated with enamel and emeralds. The top of the basin is made like a sieve, designed to prevent any water from splashing out. The largest emerald on the basin is 25 cts.
The decanter is 42.5 cm. high and weighs 4224 grams and is also made of solid gold. It is encrusted with emeralds, rubies, pearls, and spinels. The largest ruby (which is not visible in the picture) is 22 cts. and the largest emerald is 30 cts.
Nader Shah's Shield
Nader Shah carried this shield into battle during this campaigns in India. It is assumed that the gems were added to it at a later date in his honor. His bow, which is still in the Golestan palace, bears no adornments other than a layer of varnish.
The shield is supposedly made of rhinoceros hide, and has a diameter of 46 cm. It is covered with spinels, emeralds, diamonds, and rubies. Even the edge of the shield, which is not visible in the picture, is studded with emeralds. The center spinel is one of the largest in the world, weighing 225 cts. The four emeralds surrounding the center spinel cover screw holes that attach straps to the back of the shield, allowing the Shah to securely hold it during battle.
The largest emerald on the shield weighs 140 cts. Most of the diamonds range from 6 to 8 cts.