# 43902

Mass'oud Mirza Zell-e Soltan (1850-1918)

[PERSIA] Prince Mass’oud Mirza Zell-e Soltan, as Governor of Isfahan : autograph letter signed, to a British military officer. Isfahan, 18 January 1902.

$500.00 AUD

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Manuscript in violet ink, 2 pp., on bifolium of pink silk-stock notepaper with embossed letterhead in gold in the form of the Lion and Sun emblem of the Kingdom of Persia; the letter is written in English, headed ‘Esfahan, January 18th 1902’, and addressed simply ‘Excellence!’; it is signed at the foot ‘Your sincere friend, Zelle Soltan’; some minor staining, second (blank) leaf of bifolium trimmed at fore-edge and with some loss at bottom edge, rear side with some pencilled annotations (in all likelihood written by the anonymous recipient).

Full transcription of letter:


I received your letter of good wishes for the New Year with great pleasure and was glad to hear that you are safe back again in India with your regiment: I shall always remember you here as a good friend and shall be glad to hear all your news. At the same time I wish to congratulate you on your promotion to the rank of Major.

Your sincere friend, Zelle Soltan:

‘Mass’oud Mirza Zell-e Soltan (Persian: مسعود میرزا ظل‌السلطان, “Mass’oud Mirza the Sultan’s Shadow”; 5 January 1850 in Tabriz – 2 July 1918 in Isfahan), or Massud Mirza, was a Persian prince of the Qajar dynasty; he was known as the “Yamin-od-Dowleh” (“Right Hand of the Government”). He was posted as the governor of Isfahan for over 35 years, and the governor of Mazandaran, Fars, and Isfahan for a total of 40 years. He was the eldest son of Nasser-al-Din Shah and Effat-od-Dowleh, and the brother of Kamran Mirza Nayeb es-Saltaneh and of Mozzafar-al-Din Mirza (who eventually became Mozzafar-al-Din Shah), but Mas’oud Mirza could not ascend the throne because his mother was not from the Qajar dynasty’s family group. At the age of thirteen he was appointed the governor of Mazandaran, Turkman Sahra, Semnan, and Damghan for four years. He was governor of Esfahan from 1872 to 1907 and governor of Fars from 1907 to 1908. Mass’oud Mirza died in Esfahan in 1918. He was buried in Mashhad. He had 14 sons and 11 daughters.’ (Wikipedia)

Provenance: Autograph album compiled by Jane Emma Murphy (Balcombe) (1854-1924), “The Briars,” Mornington, Victoria (Australia); à Beckett family, Melbourne (by descent).