The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Sotheby's London to Offer The Extensive Archive of Sir Harford Jones, The First British Envoy to Baghdad
Sir Harford Jones (right) in the court of Fat’h Ali, the Shah of Persia, in 1809 by Robert Smirke, RA. Reproduced at the kind permission of trustees of the descendants of Sir Harford Jones Brydges, Bt.
LONDON.- Sotheby's London announced that it will offer for sale as part of its English Literature, History, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations on Tuesday 14th July the remarkable collection of some 3,100 items that document Sir Harford Jones’s time between 1783 and 1811 as agent of the East India Company in Basra then in Baghdad, then his embassy to the Persian court in Tehran. The array of first-hand accounts included in the archive provide an intricately detailed insight into the customs, trade, diplomacy and military upheavals in the Middle East during this period. Estimated at £150,000-200,000*, the archive uncovers the significance in both British and Middle Eastern history of a man considered to have been “underrated at the time and subsequently” (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).

Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s Specialist in the Books and Manuscripts Department, comments: “Nothing comparable has appeared at auction in modern times - there are few archives that detail the British presence in the Middle East at this significant time in history – and Jones’s continuous immersion in Middle Eastern life is revealed in the frequent references to the language and customs, particularly of Persia and Saudi Arabia. This remarkable archive is not just concerned with British diplomacy but also paints a vivid picture of events and life in the Middle East at this time.”

Persia
In 1807 Harford Jones was appointed envoy-extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the court of Fat’h Ali, the Shah of Persia. This appointment was made in the light of growing French influence in Tehran, as Jones explained in a position paper: “…Let England once settle a Peace between Persia and Russia, let her Envoy conduct himself with common prudence and the downfall of the French interest at Tehran must follow of course…”. At this time, the British were concerned that Persians would align themselves with the French, namely Napoleon Bonaparte, rather than the British, and it was Jones who signed a treaty with Persia to secure their support – an agreement from the Shah to prevent any attempted incursion into India via Persia - in return for a pledge that included arms required in the Persian war with Russia of the time. The British were, at this time, extremely concerned about the French threat to their rule in India via the Red Sea or Persian Gulf.

Following the agreement of a preliminary Anglo-Persian treaty, the Shah sent an envoy to England for the first time. Mirza Abdul Hassan’s visited London and was accompanied by Jones’s secretary, James Morier, who wrote more than thirty letters to Jones providing a highly detailed account of this mission and the envoy’s reception England: “… he was received at Plymouth with a guard of honour, salutes were fired…”

In relation to Persian domestic affairs, Jones and the British took a keen interest in the Shah’s heir apparent, the reform-minded crown prince Abbas Mirza. Harford Jones wrote to Robert Dundas, President of the Board of Control for India, on Persia under the Qajar dynasty: “...a Taste and spirit of Improvement seem to possess both the King & the Prince Royal particularly the latter, it is not easy to ascertain the point at which our commercial advantages will stop. If I do not much deceive myself the present Dynasy of the Khajars is likely to be as stable as that of the Suffis and if Abbas Meerza comes to the Throne and his Life is spared to carry into Execution all the vast designs he has for the improvement of the country it will probably be more so...” (26 March 1810)

Turkey
Sir Harford Jones was in regular correspondence with the British diplomatic mission at the Ottoman court. A richly detailed series of letters by Robert Adair, British Ambassador to the Sublime Porte until 1810, and thereafter by his replacement Stratford Canning, partially in cipher, provides news from Istanbul including the peace treaty between Britain and the Sublime Porte (1809), the actions of the Persian diplomats in Istanbul and Persian politics: “… the whole proceedings of [the Shah’s] Government towards you, are false and deceitful from the beginning to the end..."

Harford Jones kept abreast of events in Istanbul, including everyday events and disasters such as a great fire in the city. Isaac Morier, merchant, on a fire in Constantinople wrote to him: “A dreadfull fire broke out at 8 o’Clock Saturday morning in the street leading to the Great Burying ground, which being favoured by a strong wind, reduced to ashes all that part of Pera to the houses of Chirico and Tranton, which being of stone, stopt it in that direction, but it extended & destroyed all that part behind our palace, which altho’ insulated, was with great difficulty saved [...] The Rapidity of the fire, and want of water, was such as to baffle all efforts to stop it, notwithstanding the presence of the Grand Signor himself, attended by his Ministers...” (23 April 1810)

Saudi Arabia
In 1803 the Hejaz, including the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina, was conquered by the Wahhabis led by the House of Saud. The British resident at Bushehr, J.H. Lovett, wrote to Jones of the “general alarm excited by the Wahabee’s motions”, and explained that “A large fleet of transport Dows [...] containing some thousand men was lately assembled at Behryn [i.e. Bahrain]; which you know has joined the reformers. Bussora was the supposed object but measures of precaution were deemed necessary at Bushire. We have since heard that he has attacked Jaifa.” (13 April 1803) Soon afterwards the success of the Saudis was reported to Jones by John Barker: “As to the affairs of the Wahabi, it is confidently reported here, but I have not been ascertain on what authority, that Siood [i.e. Saud] has taken Gidda [Jeddah] and Medina without resistance: and that the sheriff of Mecca, who had fled to Gidda, on being followed by the Wahabi, escaped by Sea to what they call the ‘Islands of the Blacks’.” (Aleppo, 12 July 1803)

Sotheby's | Sir Harford Jones | Robert Smirke | East India Company | Basra | Baghdad | Persia | Saudi Arabia |


Today's News

July 9, 2009

Chronological Survey of Le Corbusier's 60-year Oeuvre Opens at Martin Gropius Bau

Public Art Fund Presents Franz West: The Ego and the Id on View at Central Park

Sotheby's Evening Sales of Old Master Paintings Totals $60 Million

Amon Carter Museum Acquires Rare 20-volume Photography Book and Portfolio Set

Manchester Hermit Continues his Quest to Challenge the Importance of Museum Archives

Christie's Auction of Old Masters and 19th Century Art Realises $32.8 Million

Idea Generation Gallery to Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Woodstock Music Festival

The Smithsonian Associates Commissions "Museum Moment" Print by Sam Gilliam

Knoxville Museum of Art Receives Gift of Major Work of Art

V&A Announces Afruz Amighi as Winner of the Jameel Prize 2009

National Academy Museum to Feature Emerging Artists in "Reconfiguring the Body in American Art, 1820-2009

Sotheby's London to Offer The Extensive Archive of Sir Harford Jones, The First British Envoy to Baghdad

Tel Aviv Museum of Art Reconstructs 1907 Berlin Exhibition of Jewish Artists from Across Europe

Works from the Zabludowicz Collection to be Shown in "Pete and Repeat"at 176 in London

Interview with Zhao Liang: "I am Interested in Social Problems of China Because is it my Responsibility"

New and Recent Work by Irish Artist Alan Phelan to Open to the Public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

New London Housing Needs to be Bigger and Better - RIBA Response to the London Housing Design Guide

37 San Francisco Arts Organizations Awarded $1.5 Million from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Grant Program

Starting Signal for Renovation of Rijksmuseum Main Building

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Scientists at Germany's Karl May Museum weigh returning Native American scalp

2.- Totally Thames launches Florentijn Hofman's first ever UK commission: HippopoThames

3.- Restoring Albrecht Dürer's masterpiece The Arch of Honour of Maximilian I

4.- German Consulate in New York presents the work of forgotten 20th century master painter

5.- Cave carving in Gibraltar may be first known example of Neanderthal rock art

6.- Monet discovered in suitcase taken into German hospital by 'Nazi art' hoarder

7.- Gustav Klimt's 'Portrait Adele Bloch-Bauer II' on view at the Museum of Modern Art

8.- Dreadnoughtus: Meet Argentina's supermassive, 85 feet from nose to tail, 'fear nought' dino

9.- Monet's 'Impressionism' birth dated by Texas State University's 'Celestial Sleuth'

10.- 'Chess' man star attraction at tattoo convention in Peru

Related Stories



Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Sotheby's New York to offer The Andy Williams Collection of Navajo blankets in May 2012

Buhl Collection brings $12.3M - Highest ever total for a private collection of photos sold at auction

'Casablanca' piano sells in NY for more than $600K

No bidder found for letters by 'Peanuts' creator

Sotheby's names President and CEO William F. Ruprecht as Chairman of the Board of Directors

Sotheby's announces first ever selling exhibition of contemporary art from central Asia and the Caucasus

Mick Jagger love letters written to American singer Marsha Hunt sold at London auction

House of Illustration raises 68,750 in "What are they like?" Celebrity Auction at Sotheby's London

Swiss contemporary art generates enthusiasm among collectors at Sotheby's



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site