An album of 21 photographs of Ahmad Shah Qajar (reg. ....) and various ministers Persia, early 20th Century, some photographs dated 1921
Lot 159A
An album of 21 photographs of various figures of the Bakhtiari tribe associated with the Constitutional Revolution of 1909, presented to Sir Sydney Armitage-Smith, financial advisor to the Persian Government Persia, early 20th Century, photographs inscribed with dates between 1920 and 1921
Sold for £2,250 (US$ 3,520) inc. premium

Lot Details
An album of 21 photographs of Ahmad Shah Qajar (reg. ....) and various ministers Persia, early 20th Century, some photographs dated 1921 An album of 21 photographs of Ahmad Shah Qajar (reg. ....) and various ministers Persia, early 20th Century, some photographs dated 1921 An album of 21 photographs of Ahmad Shah Qajar (reg. ....) and various ministers Persia, early 20th Century, some photographs dated 1921 An album of 21 photographs of Ahmad Shah Qajar (reg. ....) and various ministers Persia, early 20th Century, some photographs dated 1921
An album of 21 photographs of various figures of the Bakhtiari tribe associated with the Constitutional Revolution of 1909, presented to Sir Sydney Armitage-Smith, financial advisor to the Persian Government
Persia, early 20th Century, photographs inscribed with dates between 1920 and 1921
21 photographs, gelatin silver prints, pasted on to card sheets, all with identifying inscriptions and other notes in English and Persian, either on photograph surface or on separate card sheets, leather binding
largest 257 x 173 mm.; smallest 133 x 95 mm.; album 308 x 405 mm.

Footnotes

  • The Bakhtiari tribes, Shi'a Muslims from the Luristan region around Isfahan, were instrumental in the Constitutional Revolution and the seizure of Tehran in 1909, and most of their khans became members of the new Parliament. Quarrel among different khans led to the British intervening in Bakhtiari tribal affairs to secure the oil field areas of Southern Persia.

    Sir Sydney Armitage-Smith CB (1876-1932), a scholarly man much respected in Persia, had been chief Treasury delegate at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Afterwards he became financial advisor to the Persian government, arriving in Tehran in May 1920. The Bakhtiari share of the oil revenue, agreed on earlier, had been reduced. The khans objected to this and appointed Armitage-Smith as their representative in London to act on their behalf in the matter of royalties from the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. A payment of £1 million was paid in settlement, though this did not fully settle the matter. He was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Lion and Sun for his services to Persia.

    These photographs may have been put together for Sydney Armitage-Smith on the occasion of his appointment as Bakhtiari representative to the British Government. The inscriptions are dated between dhi'l-hajja 1338/August-September 1920 and 15th safar 1340/18th October 1921, most of them dated to safar 1340/1921.

    The subjects of the photographs are as follows, in the order they appear:
    1 Ahmad Shah Qajar (reg. 1909-25)
    2 Unknown minister or civil servant, inscribed in French to Armitage-Smith, dated Tehran 1921
    3 Sayyid Zia al-Din Tabatabai, later the civilian leader of the 1925 coup by Reza Shah. Signed by him in English
    4 Unidentified army officer, perhaps Ismail Mirza, 5th son of Massoud Mirza zil-e-Sultan. Inscribed in French to Armitage-Smith, Isfahan 1921 and with the printed stamp of the photographic studio of 'Abd al-Khaliq Khan and Tuba Khan
    5 Najaf-Quli Khan Samsam al-Saltana (1850-1931), the chief of the Bakhtiari tribe who captured Isfahan in 1909. He remained the ruler of the region until after the Constitutional Revolution when he came to Tehran and became a member of Parliament and later Prime Minister several times. Among his other posts were Minister of War and Home Affaires. The note underneath the photo is written by Najaf-Quli who says he gave it to his dear friend Armitage-Smith
    6 Unidentified; given to Armitage-Smith in Isfahan in Muharram 1340/September 1921
    7 Inscribed in French, Tehran 1921, Masama Saltaneh [?]
    8 'Abd al-Husayn Farmanfarma; given to Armitage-Smith in Muharram 1339/September-October 1920. 'Abd al-Husayn Farmanfarma (d. 1939), titled Nusrat al-dawla in 1885, was the son-in-law of the Crown Prince Muzaffar al-Din Mirza and in charge of his purse. Among his posts were Governor of Kerman and Baluchistan, Tehran, Kurdistan, Adharbayjan, Minister of War, Justice and Home Affairs
    9 Unidentified gentleman, inscribed Isfahan 1921, to HE Sir Armitage-Smith
    10 Sardar Zafar Khusraw Khan, Chief of the Bakhtiari tribe, inscribed to his respected friend the exalted Armitage-Smith as a memento, Sadar 1340/6 October 1921.
    11 Sardar-e Jang Nasir Bakhtiari, chief of the Bakhtiari tribe, inscribed to his respected friend Mr Smith on dhi'l-hajja 1338/August-September 1920.
    12 Yusif Amir Mujahid Bakhtiari, another Bakhtiari chief; given to Armitage-Smith in Safar 1340/October 1921. The photograph was taken in 'Abdullah Qajar's studio
    13 Murtaza Quli Bakhtiari given to Armitage-Smith on 15th Safar 1340/AD 18th October 1921. A member of Parliament after the Constitutional revolution
    14 Muhammad Taqi, known as Amir Jang, a Bakhtiari chief who after the establishment of the Constitution became deputy governor of Isfahan and later Governor of Arak and a member of Parliament. Given to Armitage-Smith on 6th Safar 1340/8th October 1921.
    15 Amanullah Khan Sardar Heshmat Bakhtiari; given to Armitage-Smith in Safar 1340/October 1921. A Bakhtiari chief. Active in the capture of Tehran.
    16 A young unidentified Bakhtiari man, late 19th Century, inscribed in French to Armitage-Smith, Souvenir de Bakhtiary
    17 Unidentified (signature illegible); given to Armitage-Smith on 15th Safar 1340/18th October 1921
    18 Unidentified young Persian civilian, the photo given to Armitage-Smith on 15th Safar 1340/18th October 1921.
    19 Unidentified Persian civilian official
    20 An officer, probably French, inscribed illegibly and dated Tehran 1921
    21 Captain [?] R. L. Dewar-Durie, British Army, signed by him, Isfahan 30.9.21
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