The Peacock Throne

... was actually constructed in 1635 for the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (who was, at the time, in the process of having the Taj Mahal built as a monument to his favourite wife). It was so called because its sumptuous decoration included a pair of peacocks – the peacock being a national symbol of India.

The throne was taken by the Persians as a war trophy in 1783, and its subsequent fate is shrouded in mystery; it was probably dismantled. A claim that it was taken to the Golden Temple in Amritsar, where at least part of it remains to this day, is stated as fact in Wikipedia's introduction, but dismissed further down the page as "a Sikh legend ... [that] has not been independently corroborated by scientists and historians."

The seat of the Persian (later Iranian) emperors is properly known as the Sun Throne – because its headboard is crowned by a radiant disc to represent the Sun. It was constructed in the early nineteenth century for Fath–Ali Shah Qajar. According to Wikipedia, it became known as the Peacock Throne because one of Fath–Ali Shah Qajar's consorts was known as Lady Peacock (Tavous Khanum Taj ol–Doleh). Wikipedia continues: "It was also theorised that parts of the plundered Mughal Peacock Throne were re–used, such as the legs or other parts, however no conclusive proof exists."

© Haydn Thompson 2020