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Empress Crown

The Empress Crown is part of the coronation regalia used by the only Shahbanu of Iran, Farah Pahlavi. It is part of the Iranian Crown Jewels and is on display at the Central Bank of Iran in Tehran. Following in the footsteps of policies initiated under the White Revolution that directed the further emancipation of Iranian women, Mohammad Reza Shah determined to make a symbolic gesture by crowning his consort, Empress Farah, during his own elaborate coronation ceremony in October 1967; until that date, the wives of Persian monarchs had never been crowned since the Muslim conquest of Iran, so it was therefore necessary to design a new crown for the occasion. That honor was bestowed upon Van Cleef & Arpels. In accordance with tradition, the gems used were selected from loose stones in the Imperial treasury. Since it was against the law for items from the Imperial Treasury to leave Iran, Van Cleef & Arpels were obliged to send a team of jewelers to Tehran in order to construct the crown, a process which occupied them for six months.

The frame of the crown is lined with a cap of green velvet. The crown contains 36 emeralds, 105 pearls, 34 rubies, two spinels, 1,469 diamonds; the largest emerald is located in the center of the sunburst on the front of the crown, weighs 92 cts. The two largest spinels are 83 cts. and the largest pearl is 22 mm long. In her memoir, the former Empress extolls the beauty of the crown but notes that it was quite heavy, weighing nearly two kilograms

Reinhold Hanisch

Reinhold Hanisch was an Austrian migrant worker and sometime business partner of the young Adolf Hitler. Hanisch, who published articles on Hitler, with whom he had lived in 1910, is, next to August Kubizek, one of the few witnesses to Hitler's Vienna years. Hanisch attended elementary school in his homeland, he descended from a low nobility family but his parents became poor and decadent. Despite his aristocratic ancestors, he hired himself out as a casual house servant. Hanisch was imprisoned in Berlin three months in 1907 for theft, in 1908 was sentenced to six months in prison. In the autumn of 1909 he came to Vienna. In the Vienna homeless shelter in Meidling, where he lived, he met Hitler, 21 December 1909. In 1910 Hanisch lived with Hitler, whom he took under his wing, in the Meldemannstraße men’s dormitory; the first months of 1910 constituted a kind of Hitler-Hanisch Partnership: While Hitler painted postcards and pictures watercolors, Hanisch took over their sale. The men shared the sums received.

Hitler split with Hanisch, accusing Hanisch of selling one of Hitler’s paintings and keeping the entire proceeds of the sale for himself. Hanisch denied this charge. In order to secure a new revenue stream, Hanisch became Hitler's competitor. Hanisch supplied, among the Jewish frame dealer Jakob Altenberg with pictures and postcards. On 4 August 1910 Hanisch was reported to the police by another dormitory resident, Siegfried Löffner, acting as Hitler's seller; the Vienna police discovered that Hanisch was registered in Vienna under the false name of Fritz Walter. On 11 August 1910 a Viennese court sentenced Hanisch to seven days in prison. In 1912 Hitler was reported to the police by an anonymous person on account of his unauthorized use of the title "academic painter," and warned not to use this title in the future; the painter Karl Leidenroth, who lived in the men’s dormitory and was Hanisch’s friend, had reported Hitler at Hanisch’s instigation. On 5 August 1912 Hanisch left Vienna to return to Gablonz.

From 1914 to 1917 he was a soldier in the First World War. On 4 July 1918 he came back to Vienna with his fiancée Franziska Bisurek; the house belonged to the parents of a railroad conductor, Franz Feiler, a picture-collector, for whom Hanisch obtained various pictures. On 20 July 1923 Hanisch was sentenced by the district court in Vienna to three months' imprisonment for theft. Hanisch was divorced on 17 April 1928. After 1930, Hanisch worked as a painter, he produced watercolors. Hanisch painted pictures of flowers in the style of the painter Olga Wisinger-Florian, which he sold as Hitler originals. To cover up the fraud, he had his friend. On 7 May 1932 Hanisch was sentenced to three days in jail. With Hitler's appointment as Chancellor in the spring of 1933, Hanisch became an object of interest; the Bavarian journalist and anti-Nazi Konrad Heiden, writing the first authoritative biography of Hitler, turned to Hanisch the only known witness of Hitler's Vienna period. Hanisch supplied information and was paid well.

In the following years Hanisch made money from numerous interviews with national and international newspapers. Hanisch’s memoir of Hitler posthumously appeared in 1939 in The New Republic. Although Franz Feiler, the son of Hanisch’s former landlord, was friendly with Hanisch, Feiler had acted since 1933 as a Viennese emissary of Hitler, on whose behalf he bought genuine and fake Hitler pictures in Vienna, brought them to Germany. There they were either transferred to the archives of the Nazi Party in Munich. In Easter 1933 in Berchtesgaden, Feiler gave Hitler some of Hanisch’s “Hitler pictures”; these Hitler recognized as forgeries, instructed Feiler to file a complaint for fraud against Hanisch. Feiler followed Hitler’s instructions and on 6 July 1933 accused Hanisch of fraud. After spending several months in prison Hanisch continued to forge Hitler pictures. On 16 November 1936 Hanisch was arrested. During a search of his rented room the police found, in addition to manuscripts about Hitler, more Hitler fakes.

On 2 December 1936 the Vienna regional court sentenced Hanisch to prison for fraud. Hanisch died February 1937 in detention. Hanisch fakes occupied Hitler’s staff for years after Hanisch’s death. On 21 October 1942 Hitler ordered Heinrich Himmler to destroy three fake Hitler pictures, as well as other documents. Hanisch said. In particular, Hanisch disputed Hitler’s assertion in Mein Kampf that Hitler had earned his living in Vienna for a time as a worker: "I've never seen him do hard work, yet I heard that he had labored as a construction worker. Contractors employ only strong and powerful people." Hanisch maintained that in windy speeches Hitler had opposed the Social Democratic Party and, unlike the other residents of the men’s home, always came down on the side of the state. Hanisch stressed that Hitler had a good relationship with the Jews in the men’s home. Hitler associated exclusively with Jews and his best friend in the home was the Jewish copper cleaner Josef Neumann. Another Jewish friend was a one-eyed locksmith's assistant, Simon Robinsohn, who came from the town of Lisko in Galicia.

The truth of these statements has been verified by historians. According to Hanisch, Hitler pursued mone

Indian blues

Although traditional jazz has had a sizeable following for a long time in India, with the yearly Jazz Yatra festivals and the frequent collaboration between Indian classical and Western jazz musicians, the interest in the blues has more or less been incidental due to the shared ancestry with jazz. Nonetheless, there have been a few musicians, they have not only helped define and keep the blues alive in India, but have developed a Indian flavour of this music form. Sagar Sarkar is considered the father of the Pune Blues style, "Contraband" are credited as the earliest practitioners of it in Pune during the late eighties to the nineties and beyond. In a rare late nineties interview about their hedonistic lifestyle, Sagar Sarkar is quoted as saying: "The jams we've had were centered around three guys: Nirmal Chandra Kumar, Samuel Wilson and Zubin Balsara; the other prominent guys were Naveen Shastri and Rohit Nagarkatti. We ran a circuit using little known Pune venues like Nadikinara, Madhur Milan, our respective homes and the houses of anybody who'd cooperate.

Anyone who knew about our venues were free to just carry their booze and tune in! Many a time we were joined by guests at our sessions, namely guitarists Sanjay Joseph, Milind Mulick, Jayant Sankrityayana, Ashdin Bharucha, bassist Jacob Panicker." Jive Can is a blues band to emerge from the New Delhi area. The band's musical style is a concoction of Old School Blues with a mix of Contemporary Rock & Funky vibes, their last two years has been a self study in the Blues genre playing with it, fusing it, concocting it and attempting to find our own sound in the midst of multiple internal musical contradictions and in all honesty, we are loving the journey more than any of us could care for the destination. Soulmate is a North-east India based Blues band, which according to their Myspace page "... came together in Shillong, in February 2003 playing their first concert at the ‘Roots Festival at the Water Sports Complex in Umiam. Since the band has performed many concerts all over The Northeast as well as in different parts of India, Southeast Asia, The Middle East and The USA."Soulmate is made up of artists Rudy Wallang and Tipriti'Tips' Kharbangar, although they team up with local artists when on tour.

Soulmate gained nationwide recognition and popularity within the Jazz and Blues circles in India after they became the only Blues band to represent the country at the 23rd International Blues Challenge organized by The Blues Foundation of America, in Memphis, Tennessee, USA, in February 2007. They were semi-finalists and performed at the Rum Boogie Café alongside 150 other bands and musicians from all over the world; as of February 2014, Soulmate is known to have released three albums. Shillong, Moving On and Ten Stories Up Smokestack is a band from Pune, who named themselves after the legendary song by Howling Wolf, they grouped together as a band sometime in 2006 and started off as a pretty purist, acoustic blues trio. However, soon after formation, they began experimenting with folk and roots music as well as rhythmic influences from around the world; this led to expanding the band to include electric guitars. According to their blog, they now "...pride for playing blues in all their shades and styles, pegged on a dynamic, unfaltering groove, while channelling the raw, direct emotion of the earliest acoustic Blues."

Smokestack is made up of: Anoop Kumar - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Michael Thompson - Harmonica Vishal Gore - Vocals, Electric Guitar, Bass Shreyas Iyengar - Drums, Percussion Vidula Andromeda - Vocals, HarmonicaThey have had a few other musicians as full/part-time members of their group: Varun Venkit - Drums, Occasional singing Sarathy Korwar - Drums, Percussion Siddharth Sharma - Bass GuitarThey play with other musicians who are well known names in the local Indian jazz/blues and rock scene, many of whom stay in Pune. Blues Conscience is a blues trio from Chennai, started in 2008 by Anek Ahuja, Aum Janakiram and Neil Smith, for the sole purpose of promoting the blues in today’s rock and metal influenced live music culture; as a 3-piece outfit, their roots go deep into some of the greats that have played the blues such as B. B. King, Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan, to name a few, they provide a suited up act, retaining every essence of the blues while performing renditions of their own such as Kamasutra, Shaggin Ma Dog and Barack Obama?

Called a “feel good band", engaging the audience with the right energy, they are a band like no other.” On the bass and vocals is Anek Ahuja, Aum Janakiram on guitars/vocals and Neil Smith on the drums. One of the only mainstream blues bands in India, was formed in October 1999; the band, made up of some of Kolkata’s working musicians, has been performing every Saturday night at Someplace Else, the “Music Mecca” of India - The Park Hotel, downtown Kolkata - for over a decade. The Saturday Night Blues Band has performed in a multitude of venues across the country - Not Just Jazz by The Bay, Seijo’s, Henry Thams, The Blue FrogMumbai, Haze Blues and Jazz Bar, Turquoise Cottage, QBA – Delhi, The Leather Bar, The Madras Cricket Club, Presidency Club – Chennai, East Coast Golf Club, The Bamboo Bay - Visakhapatnam Guitarist Kapil Chetri, New Delhi is credited to be one of the first sounds in India who deals with Delta Blues and other finger style-plucking, acoustic blues styles. Though the Big Bang Blues is more of a Blues- Rock band, Kapil brings