15 real photos of Iranian shah and his harem, which was almost 100 women

Photo credit : www.kulturologia.ru


Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar - Shah of Iran

Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar and his beloved wife Anis al-Doleh.

Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar and his beloved wife Anis al-Doleh.

A few days ago the news spread around the world: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has revived the tradition of his grandfather and father and started a personal harem "Garden of Delights". Harem for europeans seems sort of abode young and beautiful women from the famous Arabian Nights "1000 and One Nights." Meanwhile, a curious pictures of the harem of Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar, who ruled in Iran in the late 19th century, are changing stereotypes of old beauty standards. In our review you can see the beauties of the harem of the Iranian shah.


Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar - Shah of Iran was the fourth power in 1848 and ruled for 47 years. His reign was the longest in the 3000-year history of Iran.

Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar
Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar


Historians tell about Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar, that in his time Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar was very well educated and had the reputation of a sybarite, what later made angry people surrounding him.

Al-Din Shah Qajar and photographer Sevryugin before photoshoot.
Al-Din Shah Qajar and photographer Sevryugin before photoshoot.

One of the many passions of Shah Qajar was a photography. In childhood he liked to take pictures, and when he came to power, decided to establish in his palace the first official photo studio. In the 1870s in Tehran russian photographer Anton Sevryugin opened his photo-atelier , Anton Sevryugin became court photographer of Iranian ruler. Sevryugin created a chronicle of Iran and for his services was awarded the honorary title.

The main entrance to the palace of Gulistan.
The main entrance to the palace of Gulistan.

Russian photographer could shoot only Shah, his male relatives, courtiers and servants. And for a Qajar, an ardent fan of the photo,shah left the right to take photos of his harem, in which according to the testimony of historians there were about 100 concubines.

Completeness of the body - as the main criterion of beauty.
Completeness of the body - as the main criterion of beauty.


It is known that Nasser al-Din Shah himself printed the photos in the palace laboratory and kept in satin albums in his Golestan Palace, which now is the museum.

Incomparable Anis al-Doleh - beloved wife of the Shah (right).
Incomparable Anis al-Doleh - beloved wife of the Shah (right).


Extraordinariness of photos of his concubines is that Shiite law at that time was not permissible to shoot the faces of people, and especially faces of women. And only the most powerful man in the country could afford to break the law.

Anis al-Doleh or soulmate of State.
Anis al-Doleh or soulmate of State.


Looking at the photos of the ladies of the harem, you feel that they look quite modern for their time , as women behave steadily calm in front of the camera.

Incomparable Anis al-Doleh (sitting).
Incomparable Anis al- (sitting)

Photos of women challenged the conventional view of life in the harem - the wives of shah look quite modern for its time and self-confident, they quietly look into the camera lens and not shy.

Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar with some women of the harem..
Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar with some women of the harem.


You can even suggest that women in the harem had friendly relations - some photos show the group on a picnic.

Harem at the picnic.
Harem at the picnic.

 The harem inmates did not suffer of thinness.
The harem inmates did not suffer of thinness.


By the photos can be seen the taste of the Iranian monarch - all women are complete , with fused bushy eyebrows and clearly visible mustache . It is clearly seen that women do not suffer from hunger and are not burdened with physical work.

Young concubine with a hookah.
Young concubine with a hookah.


On many photos concubines depicted in short skirts like a lush ballet tutus (shaliteh). And it is no coincidence.

The ladies of the harem in ballet tutus.
The ladies of the harem in ballet tutus.

The ladies of the harem in ballet tutus.
The ladies of the harem in ballet tutus.


It is known that in 1873, Nasser al-Din Shah, at the invitation of Alexander II visited St. Petersburg and attended the ballet. According to legend, he was fascinated by the Russian dancers ,so he introduced the ballet tutu to his harem. However, it is possible that this is just a legend.

The ladies of the harem in ballet tutus.



Article translated from www.kulturologia.ru


Watch the video - Nasseredin Shah and his 84 wives.

English trailor .Video credit : Beate Petersen

04/15/2015
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12 comments

08/05/2015 21:21
+2
Wow woman with mustache.
Iranian shah was fond of women with appearance like men?
May these are some signs of bisexual or homosexual behavior?
Or all man in that times in that area loved so strange looking woman?
Very interesting to know such facts about Iranian shah and his harem.
08/05/2015 21:28
+2
In some cultures women with mustache were considered as a beauty standard.
In the video was said that woman of iranian shah's harem were drawing mustache.
So they wanted to be beautiful.
Of course today it is not acceptable for men,but times are changing and tastes too
Sri
09/22/2017 14:09
That's right tastes are changing too… But it's very unique. At the same century, in another country, we didn't found the taste like it. Amazing
Comment deleted
09/22/2017 14:20
It makes me feel good. If I lived there in that period, I must have been considered as a beauty. Lol
04/06/2016 06:05
+1
I always thought that woman are incredibly beautiful in the arabian harems like on this painting

asian harem
ala
05/31/2017 22:58
+1
Persians are not Arab btw
06/01/2017 03:51
You are right.It is my mistake.Any way Persian women are are beautiful too.
05/16/2016 06:02
+2
What is harem? Everyone knows that harems are groups of woman who are in sultan wifes role. Any harem of the sultan follows the traditions and taste of the time than it was created. So we should not be surprised about this article,as those times in that part of the world the beauty of woman was considered as described in article. It is not necessary that harem girls should look as beautiful as we think today. Harem girl should look lias an every member of harem.
12/21/2016 00:56
+1
These photos are hilarious. I don't have a historical resource to back this up but I remember my grandma telling me about this. All kings had tons of women in their heram to play around with. It was a routine passed along several years of previous kings in the past 100s of years. Clearly between concubines there is competition to be more beautiful or look younger to get the kings attention and consequently find a special and superior place among other concubines. Everything seemed to be going the same way historically until it came to naser e din shah. He didn't take much interest in concubines or women in fact. No one realised this or could explain this… Of course today we know he was gay. So the concubines decided to look more like the young men naser i din shah was fooling around with, thinking that was what the King liked. Therefore out of jealousy and attention seeking behaviour from the King, they would put on mustache and not pluck their eyebrows. If you look at concubines in the previous years or even after ahmad shah (naser i din shah s son) the concubines look more feminine. Again these are what my grandma told me, I haven't read this in a book or researched it.
07/22/2017 05:43
I think you are right. I realize you posted this three years ago but I just came across these harem photos today. Your post makes the most sense. That is some of the most unattractive women I've ever seen in my lifetime. Even their bodies are horrible and the tutu skirt is not a good look for them with their legs spread out. Wow, I'm an old lady and still look better than those gals???..
09/11/2017 13:51
Its so interesting article and actually i got huge idea from others comments also. And specially I agree with @Kathleen.:)
That is some of the most unattractive women I've ever seen in my lifetime.

I think this pic is so sweet one of Persian girl with her doll <3 :)