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Britain's Diplomatic Mission to Bring Crystal Chandeliers to the Shah of Persia

Back when there weren't any airplanes or big ships to deliver goods and other high-value products, people had to use other means like caravans to transport such products.

In the case of Britain's diplomatic mission to the Shah of Persia, there were many fragile items including crystal chandeliers. So, in order to bring them safely to their destination, the head of the mission, Edward James Matthews had the items carried on men's shoulders the whole way.

The journey took five months – ‘an undertaking of infinite difficulty… I may say danger’. Thankfully the glassware arrived intact, and was ‘most graciously received by the King.
His Majesty expressed his approbation and praise of the great care and diligence evinced by Mr Matthews’. Letters of thanks from both the Shah and Mirza Abul Hassan Khan arrived back in London with Matthews, together with a gift to the Company of the Shah’s portrait.

(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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