Translating these calligraphic Arabic letters is always a challenge. The letter is translated as:
Top right, the name of the Sender: Said Bin Sultan
Top left: Name person to who the letter is addressed: al-Sayfi Asul ?
May God also protect him from evil and the conspiracies of licentious people, storms of ……. and reptiles of danger [Amin]. Your kind letter was received and your beloved understood what you stated therein and pleased for your safety. On expressing the thanks towards the son Majid, it actually shows the love of you, and we assume that after 2 months in sha allah we will be coming to you. This is for you to know and if there is anything that you may want before the meeting, please let us know. Salaam. Done on the 28th of Mahram 1272
Said Bin Sultan died a year after this letter. On the back of the letter is the stamp/ Tughra of Said bin Sultan. The three wax seals on the envelope also contain his Thugra. Date given in Arabic on the bottom letter is 1272 AH while on the address in a European language is written 1855. "13 Dacle "55" on the address may possibly refer to the 13-th day of the 11 month of the Islamic calender (Dhu-al-qada), but not sure. The letter confirms that a letter was received and wishes the recipient Peace and happiness. The recipient of the letter could not yet be identified.
Tughra of Said Bin Sultan
The main parts of the empire of Said Bin Sultan were Oman and East Africa. After the "merchant Sultan" had moved his capital from Oman to Zanzibar, he went every 3 or 4 years to Oman to ensure control. The Sultan's eldest son was caretaker of Oman when he was not present. The Sultan's family was also spread between Oman and Zanzibar. According to his daughter Bibi Salme in her memoirs, the family members in the poorer Oman had a much more modest life style compared to the more glamorous lifestyle of the family members on Zanzibar, however the Omani family members considered themselves superior to their African relatives. The Sultan's children on Zanzibar were from Suri 's (slave wives) from Circassia and Ethiopia. After the death of Said bin Sultan his eldest sons could not agree on his succession and with help of the British the prosperous Zanzibar and poorer Oman became separate Sultanates, starting a gradual decline of the prosperity of Oman until 1970. See the above slide-show for a photo of the address on the letter. The Sultan died at sea in 1856
The rare Biography of Said Bin Sultan was written by his grandson Rudolph Said Ruete, the son of Bibi Salme / Emily Ruete.
The book Memoirs of an Arabian Princess by his daughter Bibi Salme contains unique information about life at the Sultan's court in Zanzibar.
In the export section we have a plate that was given as part of the contents of the ship Prince Regent by the King of England to Said Bin Sultan. The ship was a return present by the King, as Said bin Sultan had previously given the ship Liverpool to the King.
Have requested assistance for the proper translation of the letter and it's address.
The letter from Said bin Sultan
Lacquer seals with the Sultan's Tughra impressed