Mirza Muhammad Shaker (translator), Memoirs of an un-named British author, copied by 'Ali Akbar ibn 'Alijah Mirza 'Abdullah Qajar Persia, Tehran, dated 1 Rajab 1311/9th January 1894

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Lot 47
Mirza Muhammad Shaker (translator), Memoirs of an un-named British author, copied by 'Ali Akbar ibn 'Alijah Mirza 'Abdullah
Qajar Persia, Tehran, dated 1 Rajab 1311/9th January 1894

Sold for £ 960 (US$ 1,174) inc. premium
Mirza Muhammad Shaker (translator), Memoirs of an un-named British author, copied by 'Ali Akbar ibn 'Alijah Mirza 'Abdullah
Qajar Persia, Tehran, dated 1 Rajab 1311/9th January 1894
Persian manuscript on paper, 330 leaves, 14 lines to the page written in clear nasta'liq script in black ink, significant words and dates picked out in red throughout, inner margins ruled in blue and gold, catchwords in wide margins, headings written in nasta'liq script in black and red within panels decorated with floral motifs, seal impression of Sadr al-Saltaneh on folio 1a, one illuminated headpiece in colours and gold, some dampstaining causing some flaking of the ink of some words, European-style black morocco gilt, doublures of marbled paper, slightly worn
220 x 135 mm.

Footnotes

  • The journey of the British traveller began in September 1889, when he left London, and he continued through Paris, Constantinople, Tflisi, the Caspian Sea, Askhabad, Quchan, Mashhad and Tehran. He describes the various regions, their geography, history, agriculture, monuments, holy places (there is a long section on Mashhad, the shrine of the 8th Imam, the history of the city and its library, and the British Consulate); and also much discussion of customs and manners, professions and wages, trade, the presence of the Russians, postal services and mining. He often refers to the visits of other British travellers and their disparaging comments. There are also sections on Britain's relations with Persia, British interests in India, and Persia's geopolitical situation.

    The manuscript was in the library of Husainquli Khan Sadr al-Saltanah, who added comments on the text in a minute hand, dated AH 1337/AD 1918-19 and left his seal impression on the opening page. He was a son of Mirza Aqa Khan Nuri, Prime Minister to Nasir al-Din Shah, and started his career in the Foreign Office, rising to become Consul-General in Bombay in 1885 and Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Washington in 1887. On his return a year later he was titled Sadr al-Saltanah. See Bamdad, Dictionary of National Biography of Iran 1700-1900, vol. I, Tehran 1966, pp. 459-60.
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