(SHAH OF PERSIA.)
Report in Relation to the Entertainment of His Imperial Majesty the Shah,
in the Guildhall of the City of London, on Friday, the 20th of June, 1873. [together with;] Entertainment to His Majesty The Shah of Persia. Description of the Guildhall with Programmes of Music. [and;] a colour-printed ticket and menu for the reception.
First and only editions. Of the Report, Copac records the Guildhall copy only, OCLC adding a copy in Leiden, a single copy of the Entertainment located at Chicago, both extremely uncommon. The Report contains a full subscriber’s list, impressions of the various tickets, a table plan for the Royal Table, menus, programmes of dances, and the text of the Mayoral address, in both English and Farsi; the Entertainment – more by the way of a programme has a history of the Guildhall, programmes for the performances of the bands of the Coldstream and Grenadier Guards and the Royal Artillery, and a simplified floor plan. The ticket to the reception, printed by Blades, East and Blades features a portrait of the Shah, the arms of the city of London and of the Persian royal house, ornately printed in red, blue, green, sepia, and gold. The menu is similarly decorative, featuring a wonderful Islamic-style border. Nasir al-Din Shah Qajar was the first Shah of Persia to visit Europe in modern times, his travels seem to have been an effort to obtain some influence in the power-struggle being played out between Britain and Russia on his northern borders. He was fascinated by the technological advances he saw, and introduced a number of western innovations to Persia, including a modern postal system, train transport, a banking system and newspaper publishing. He was also the first Iranian to be photographed. The Shah was sumptuously entertained during his visit, and was appointed a Garter Knight by the Queen, the first Persian to be so honoured. His admiration for western ways and his perceived deference to the European powers were certainly factors that contributed to his assassination in 1896 by a follower of the Islamicist Jamal-al-Din Afghani. Highly uncommon, unusual and attractive group relating to the origins of modern European – Middle Eastern diplomacy.
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The first-named, foolscap quarto (332 212 mm) Original green printed card wraps. The second, octavo (212 131 mm). Original pink printed card wraps. The Report with 2 folding, hand-coloured lithographic floor-plans, full-page table plan, plates of ticket designs and menus; the Entertainment with a folding hand-coloured lithographic plan; accompanied by an unused example of the large (459 274 mm) colour-lithographed admission ticket to the reception with its “coupon,” and a similar menu (285 184 mm). Some slight rubbing and soiling of the wraps, but overall very good indeed.