In size and plumage the two sexes offer a striking contrast, the male weighing about 4 lb, its plumage for the most part of a rich glossy black shot with blue and purple, the lateral tail feathers curved outwards so as to form, when raised, a fan-like crescent, and the eyebrows destitute of feathers and of a bright vermilion red.
He looks too old for his years, but quite unbroken; the character of a veteran sage has fully imprinted itself on his countenance; the features are grand, clear and deeply lined, the mouth firmly set and almost stern, the eyes strong and intent beneath their bushy eyebrows, the hair flows untrimmed over his shoulders and commingles with a majestic beard.
As he sat on the judgment-seat, ` the deep thought betrayed in his furrowed brow - the large eyebrows, overhanging eyes that seemed to regard more what was taking place within than around him - his calmness, that would have assumed a character of sternness but for its perfect placidity - his dignity, repose and venerable age, tended at once to win confidence and to inspire respect ' (Townsend).
About the time of setting out on his Indian expedition he was described as a most comely man, upwards of 6 ft., tall, well-proportioned, of robust make and constitution; inclined to be fat, but prevented by the fatigue he underwent; with fine, large black eyes and eyebrows; of sanguine complexion, made more manly by the influence of sun and weather; a loud, strong voice; a moderate wine-drinker; fond of simple diet, such as pilaos and plain dishes, but often neglectful of meals altogether, and satisfied, if occasion required, with parched peas and water, always to be procured.i During the reign of Nadir an attempt was made to establish a British Caspian trade with Persia.
The eyebrows are widened and painted till they appear to meet, while sham moles or stars are painted on the chin and cheek; even spangles are stuck at times on the chin and forehead.