Who was the Zil es Sultan?

The Zil es Sultan
The Zil es Sultan

Most rug collectors think of the Zil es Sultan as a rug pattern but he was an important historical figure. Masud Mirza the Zil es Sultan was the eldest and favorite son of Nasir Ud Din Shahinshah of Persia.

The Zil es Sultani pattern in a Qashqai Rug
The Zil es Sultani pattern in a Qashqai Rug. The Zil es Sultani pattern is a vase filled with flowers flanked by two birds in a repeat pattern. How then does the The Zil es Sultani pattern relate to The Zil es Sultan, Masud Mirza. The Prince while son of the Shah was not in the line of royal descent. Consequently although he was his fathers favorite he cold not inherit the throne or display the Imperial symbols. So in the style of the royal symbols he adopted his own.

The palace of The Zil es Sultan
The palace of The Zil es Sultan shows a huge number of potted vases but also in the stonework (see below left magnified details). It is obvious that the floral vase was the symbol of the prince but where do the birds come from. In the detail of the peacock throne below we can see the symbol of the Qajar monarchy, the sun flanked by two bulbuls (bird common in Persia i.e. nightingale). The Zil es Sultani pattern then becomes obviously the floral vase of the Prince flanked with the Bulbuls of his father.
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