Located in a big and beautiful garden in the best part of the old Tehran, Abgineh museum is an octagonal building which used to be the residence and office of Ghavam al-Saltaneh, the minister of Qajar king Ahmad Shah until 1951. Having been refurbished by a group of Iranian and Austrian architects, the outstanding mansion was converted into a museum and opened in 1989, now recognized as a famous tourist attraction.
Comprising two floors and five halls, the exterior and interior of the building is adorned with amazing floral designs of woodcarvings and the Seljuk era brick works on the door frames, stairways and façade as well as mirror works and plaster works in both Western and Eastern styles, making it an architectural masterpiece. The precious art works and handicrafts which are showcased in this museum are particularly in three collections of porcelains, glassworks and crystals.
Two halls exist downstairs and three ones upstairs connected to one another through nice corridors and wooden steps in Russian style. On the first floor, the Bolur (Crystal) Hall displays the most marvelous old glass cylinders, flint glasses and clay pots back to the 18th and 19th centuries and the Mina Hall displays ancient opaque and veined glass works, particularly ornaments and perfume bottles, dating back to the 1st and 2nd millennium B.C.
On the second floor, the Sadaf (Seashell) Hall, looking like a half-open seashell, contains a wide variety of potteries belonging to the 3rd and 4th century; the Zarrin (Golden) Hall exhibits golden dishes from the Seljuk era decorated with beautiful typographies and images of Moguls; and the Lajvard (Azure) Hall painted in a unique turquoise color includes art works belonging to the 7th and 8th century of Ilkhanid era.
Moreover, on the northwestern courtyard of the museum, there is a fantastic specialized library constituting 4000 Persian and English books in the fields of art, history and archaeology.
Those who visit the museum can have a memorable glimpse on the magnificent collection of porcelains and get informed on the rich history and production development of ceramics and porcelains. Likewise, glass works exhibited here extend from the first and second millennium BC to modern time together with introducing techniques and equipment for producing them.
As one of the most visited museums in Tehran, Abgineh museum of glassware and ceramics is as intriguing as the mansion itself, attracting a large number of domestic and foreign tourists and art enthusiasts annually which makes them have a lifetime experience.