1892 Persia and the Persian Question by Curzon (book belonged to Percy Cox (previously British consul in Muscat) . Book contains also some information on Oman. The book has Persian hand-painted lacquer boards.

Bookplate Percy Cox Previously consul in Oman

Important and scarce work with the title Persia and the Persian question written by Lord Curzon (viceroy of India) and published by Longmans, Green 1892. 

Both two  Volumes with old hand-painted Persian Lacquer boards! The Persian lacquer Boards potentially much older than the book.

Each volume with a bookplate / Ex Libris  of Sir Percy Cox, the right hand of Lord Curzon during his time in Persia. Percy Cox was known to the Arabs as "Cokkos"!


Antique Persian lacquered boards

Antique Persian Lacquered binding

 Bookplate Percy Cox
Bookplates Sir Percy Cox
Curzon Persia and the Persian Question 1892
RGS Sir Percy Cox and Lady Ravensdale Persepolis

RGS Sir percy Cox Lady Ravensdale Persepolis

RGS Sir Percy Cox and Lady Ravensdale

In a newspaper article about her travels in Iran, Lady Ravensdale the daughter of Curzon mentioned that she was horrified to discover her fathers name on one of the monuments (Gate of all Lands) in Persepolis. However, she could not image her father doing such a thing.... This trickered several letters in e.g. Times and discussions at the RGS

In the the newspaper article of Arthur Moore we read that also "C.J. Rich" left his signature at Persepolis. In our  book "Fraser Narrative Of A Journey Into Khorasan" is a manuscript letter inserted by Fraser in which he informs the family of C.J. Rich about the circumstances of his death.


Ex Libris Veth-Delprat Roalnd Holst

Very fine Dutch book-plate made in  1915 for Mrs Delprat-Veth and made by the Dutch well known artist Nicolaas Roland Holst. Mrs Delprat-Veth was the sister of the painter / historian Jan Pieter Veth. The Delprat-Veth family archive is kept in the Rijksmuseum (prentenkabinet).



Unique book because of the antique hand-painted (Persian Lacquer)  boards and provenance and history.

Very fine two-volume set previously owned by Sir Percy Cox, assistant to Lord Curzon.  The covers and spines of each volume have been replaced by fine hand-painted Persian lacquer covers!! The Persian  text on the covers has not been deciphered but they are probably from the 19th century or earlier.

The top edges have  been heavily gilded.

Each volume with the beautiful bookplate of Sir Percy Cox, showing him in traditional English costume and himself dressed as an Arab, clearly demonstrating his affinity with the Arab world!!  When Percy Cox was the head of the Geographic Society the North / South Pole areas and large parts of the  Arabian peninsula were at the main focus of the Explorers of the time.

Cox worked for Curzon and together with the famous Arabist / traveler Gertrude Bell he played a key role in the founding of Iraq as a modern state.

The book in its own right (without the hand-painted boards)  is already valuable and in mint condition, except for one of the boards being loose (because of the loose documents that had been inserted in the book)

This book was a present from Lady Ravensdale, the daughter of Curzon to Percy Cox. The occasion of the gift being a session of the Royal Geographic Society (of which Percy Cox was chairman)  during which Lord Curzon was heavily criticized for supposedly inscribing his name on some key Persian monuments (next the signatures of several ancient explorers such as Niebuhr) Percy Cox, however defended Curzon during the RGS meeting.  Ironically this whole debate had been tricked by an article by lady Ravensdale herself about her travels through Persia! When visiting the ruins of Persepolis she discovered the signature of her father Lord Curzon on one of the major monuments. However, in the article she said that she could not imagine her father doing such a thing..... This comment trickered several letters in the Times  and even the ambassador of Iran got involved.   

With the books belong some newspaper cuttings and a personal thank you note in a tiny envelope by Lady Ravensdale relating to the events in the RGS. (see photos above) The inserted papers have probably caused one of the boards to come loose.

Sir Percy Cox (1864-1937) to whom this copy belonged, was a soldier, administrator and diplomat active in the Persian Gulf, Persia, Iraq and Nejd (negotiating with Abdulaziz ibn Saud) He was also political agent in Oman and played an important role in defining many of the present days borders in the middle east.

  1. Philip Graves life of Sir Percy Cox, Plymouth Mayflower press 1941