Dagger and Sheath - Helmet with Mask (Images: asia.si.edu)

“Organized by the Smithsonian Institution‘s Arthur M. Sackler Galleryin collaboration with The Moscow Kremlin Museums, this presentation features more than sixty exceptional objects that large embassies, diplomatic missions, and trade delegations from Ottoman Turkey and Safavid Iran offered to the tsars of Russia.”

Sounds like a better attempt at maintaining relationships rather than sending bombs, doesn’t it?

The luxurious pieces, on loan to the Sackler Museum from The Russian Kremlin Museums, are said to be “ranging in date from the early sixteenth to the late seventeenth century,” After seeing the exhibition, we can’t say that we were surprised to see the exactitude and delicacy that oozed out of the boxed-in Persian artifacts, after-all Persian artists were and still are world-renowned originators, but we were surprised at ourselves for wanting to touch something we’re told not to, so much.

Beauty and extravagance are two constantly-creeping yet viable characters in Persian culture, and with one glance at the historical gifts, it’s clear.

The dates for this must-see showcase are: May 9th-Sept. 13th, 2009.

Click here for more information on this exhibition, Tsars and the East: Gifts from Turkey and Iran.

Click here to buy the photo-book.