1924 Persian Gulf Pilot comprising the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, and the Makran coast

Persian Gulf Pilot 1924 by Learmonth

Persian Gulf Pilot comprising the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, and the Makran coast. Seventh edition 1924 All Bearings are true Published by order of the lords commissioners of the admiralty Crown copyright Reserved . Includes all the  inserted updates including extra views up to 1932 plus numerous manuscript notes / comments. The book was written /published by F.C. Learmonth / London Published for the Hydrographic Department, Admiralty by his majesty´s stationary office. To be obtained from J.D. Potter, agent for the sale of admiralty Charts 145 Minories E.1 1924 Price 10 Shillings

Persian Gulf Pilot 1924


Persian Gulf Pilot 1924

 Persian Gulf Pilot 1924

The meaning of the stamp and the early owner inscriptions are unclear to me

Persian Gulf Pilot 1924

Description: Extremely rare book: Only two copies of this seventh edition sold  in auctions over several decades!! At an auction at Sotheby´s in  1998. Late 2014 another copy was offered for sale by Inlibris Austria. Contents (2)XIII(1) 292.  The series of Pilots or guides to navigation were issued by the Admiralty, London, for a range of maritime areas including the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. The Persian Gulf Pilot provides, chapter by chapter, a progressive survey of the Omani coast and the Persian Gulf Coast viewed from the seaboard side. Particular attention is paid to navigational hazards, including weather, water depths and islands, the regular shipping channels are described and in the later editions illustrations of coastal profiles and views of particular locations are included. The documentary interest of the Persian Gulf lies in their detailed descriptions of coastlines and communities of 50 and 100 years ago, most of which have altered beyond recognition. The Pilots go into great circumstantial detail about local conditions of life as well as the geography of the coastline and shipping features. Even the names of the different tribes living or controlling different places are mentioned. The Persian Gulf pilot remains a valuable research source. The book also provide an index / reference to the different sea charts of the area. Some of the interesting text details in the 1924 pilot book:
  • P 36 Muscat: The town has a picturesque appearance from the sea. The suburbs of mat huts occupy every available piece of level ground in the vicinity. Muscat plus Matrah have a population of about 20.000. During winter Mosquito’s are numerous and cause a considerable amount of malaria, amongst the natives
  • p 38 Matrah:The part of the town inside the walls is well built; the khojahs have a separate fortified quarter containing about 500 houses into which only their own sect are admitted.  There is a steep and rugged pass between the places (Matrah and Muscat) but it is impracticable for loaden animals (manuscript correction: A road connecting these places has been constructed)
  • P 62 Ras al Khaimah: the flag of the Jowasim tribe (red with a narrow white border) is flown from a high building to the northward
  • P 66 Sharjah: has 8000 to 10000 inhabitants chiefly of the Al Jowasim tribe under the Sheikh of Sharjah.
  • P68 Dubai (Dabai / Dibai): Has 5000 to 6000 inhabitants of teh Abu Felasa tribe, a branch of the Bani Yas. The highest building in Dabai is the fort etc. Dabai sends about 150 boats to the pearl fishery etc.
  • P 70 Abu Dhabi  is the principal town of the great Bani Yas tribe. Has about 20.000 inhabitants. The Bani Yas are a fine race of men, and the Sheikh is very friendly to the British. They wear their hair long over the shoulders, twisted up in plaits. Abu Dhabi was formerly the chief seat of piracy in these waters.
  • P89 Doha: The Sheikh of Qatar has authority over the other chiefs. Doha may contain 5000 inhabitants of mixed tribes. They were formerly constantly at war with the Bedawin, and it may not be safe to be outside the walls after dark.
  • P 105 Manamah (Bahrein Island): There are about 110.000 in total people living on the different islands in Bahrain. Bahrain harbour is a resort for trading people from Persia, Turkish Arabia, Qatar and Trucial Oman. More than 1000 boats are involved in the pearl fishery.
  • P 126 Kuwait: in 1922 the population of the town was 50.000 and the territory in 1915 89000. The people are of various tribes, a large number are Persians. The natives are a united and warlike tribe
  • P 142 Gwadar (on Makran coast and under control of the Sultan of Muscat): It is a dirty place, and it is advisable for visitors to sleep on board their ships, as fever is prevalent amongst Europeans here. Most of the dwellings are mat huts.  The population is about 4350 in 1903.


  • Front-cover: Persian Gulf Pilot seventh edition 1924
  • Inside: Caution when approaching British Ports
  • Notations for supplements and annual summaries of notices to mariners relate to this book. To be filled in by the navigation officer.
  • Page with Rubber stamp (with Arab text) and Arab manuscript note regarding final correction date.
  • Blank
  • Notice that this volume should not be used without reference to the latest supplements
  • I:Title page
  • II: Blank
  • Caution regarding bearings
  • III Advertisement to the seventh edition
  • IV-VI contents
  • VII-VIII Glossary of words occurring in the charts and sailing directions
  • IX-XXIII General information e.g. on the use of maps
  • Blank; Blank; Small map of the Omani coast and the Persian Gulf.
  • p 1-292 The actual pilot book

Provenance / Inscriptions:

Very interesting because it contains numerous handwritten notes in ink by a contemporary Captain / Navigator who sailed along the Omani coast and the Persian Gulf.  In the beginning of the book there is some writing in Arabic and the book has some old blue stamps with Arab text.  Still need to have the text translated. The beginning of the book contains also handwriting in Italian!!!!  "Correctto dicembre 1932 gd Amanpour?" During the late 1920´s Italy tried to gain influence in the Persian Gulf by increasing diplomatic ties with the Persian government and assisting them in developing a Persian fleet by providing ships and staff. The British saw this as a threat to the crucial naval business routes to and from India. The many notes in ink inside the book are in English however a few in pencil are in Italian .Persia was the only oil producer in The Persian Gulf at the time.