In the center of Tehran, there is a beautiful old building that now is home to interesting ancient crafts. Abgineh Museum of Iran or Glassware and Ceramic Museum, as Iranians call it, is one of the unique collections of glassblowing arts in Iran. If you always find glassblowing and glasswares interesting, now it’s the best chance for you to see how Persians used to make them thousands of years ago.
Truly glorious, beautifully displayed, incredible historical and cultural pieces – remarkable techniques in glass and ceramics – a ‘not to be missed’ museum.SunErgos2013 – TripadvisorCalgary, Canada
Abgineh Museum opened in 1980, the museum is housed in the 1915 mansion of a former prime minister in Reza Shah’s government, and from 1953—60 it functioned as the Egyptian Embassy, so the building itself has architectural merit.
This building has two floors and five halls. The first and second halls are on the first floor, and the other ones are on other floors upstairs. In the second hall (crystals) the oldest glasses, glass pipes and clay pots are located. The designer of the display windows of the museum was an Austrian engineer called Hans Holiehn. The ornaments of the building include wood embossing of the door frames and stairways and the façade of the building with 50 different types of brick.
About Glassware and Ceramic Museum ( Abgineh Museum )
Did you know Persia Empire had been using glass for over 4000 years? And you can see this glass in a Glassware and Ceramic Museum of Iran! You can find the rare collection of glass and clay works in this interesting museum with its unique building and architecture. You will see objects dating back from the 4th millennium B.C. up to the present time as well as glass works from the 1st millennium B.C. up to the contemporary era.
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 Sasanian 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 Abgineh Museum, has approximately 3,000 books in Farsi and English on archaeology, history and arts for students and researchers.
History of Glassware and Ceramic Museum
This museum, that is actually a historical house is 90 years old. It belonged to Ahmad Qavam, one of the famous politicians of Qajar era. He had used this beautiful house as his residence and working office. For a short time this place was the embassy of Egypt and then it was sold to Farah Pahlavi’s bureau in 1976. Finally, in 1980, it was turned into a museum and in 1998 it was registered in the list of Iran National Heritage.
Architecture of Abgineh Museum
Abgineh Museum of Iran and its surrounding garden have a total area of 7000 square meters. This two-story building has a unique Persian-European architecture. There is wooden stair in Russian style that will catch your eyes. Besides, with the Intelligence of Hans Hollein, famous Austrian architect and designer, the interior decoration are very special in its own way. He used most iconic Persia historical attractions such as Persepolis and Pasargadae (Tachar Palace, pillars, and other items). Hence, the museum resembles the ancient architecture of Persia in a modern way. Not only the vitrines and objects will amaze you, but the building itself is a masterpiece too. They used more than 50 different types of bricks with floral patterns in the building and exterior. These designs are based on Seljuk art. Don’t forget to take a look at the delicate plaster works! So, just look up at the ceiling and walls from time to time. And, you may fall in love with the mirror works, a lovely item in Persian decoration.
Location of Glassware and Ceramic Museum
Abgineh Museum of Iran is located in the heart of Tehran in 30th Tir Street. You can reach this place using public transportation. Once you reach this location, you are in the vicinity of numerous tourist attractions like National Jewelry Museum, Moghadam Museum, Negarestan Garden, Golestan Palace, Tehran Grand Bazaar, National Museum of Iran, Portal of Bagh-e Meli, Malek Museum and Library, City Park, and Masoudieh Palace. Also, don’t miss walking on the longest street in the Middle-East, Valiasr Street. There are lots of cafes, restaurant, and shop stores.