Chronology of Tinco Lycklama’s stay in Ottoman Iraq (1866-67)

In November 2016, our travelogue will move to Iraq – the ancient Mesopotamia. Indeed, 150 years ago, our young Dutch aristocrat Tinco Lycklama à Nijeholt (1837-1900) was the only ‘tourist’ to travel the region and record his erudite observations. Besides spending considerable time in Baghdad, Tinco also visited Ctesiphon, Babylon, Samarra, Khorsabad, Nimrud, Niniveh (Mosul)… – doing some occasional digging in the desert. Along the way, he observed local customs and reported on the practicalities of travel. And, interestingly, he also acquaints some of the most powerful men in the Ottoman empire. Our day-by-day travologue (also viewable on Facebook…) follows Tinco’s own journal (see Volume III of his “Voyage…“)

(continue reading below the French and Dutch notes, and the illustrations)

En novembre 2016, les récits de Tinco Lycklama se déplacent vers l’Iraq et l’ancienne Mésopotamie. Il y a 150 ans, Tinco réside plusieurs mois à Bagdad, et visitera également les sites antiques de Ctésiphon, Babylon, Samarra, Khorsabad, Nimrud et Niniveh (et ne se prive pas de quelques fouilles). Et bien sûr, fidèle à sa curiosité, Tinco nous parle d’histoire, des gens, des moeurs – et de ses rencontres avec quelques puissants hommes de l’empire Ottoman. (Suivez nos récits sur Facebook…, et consultez le Tome III de son “Voyage…“).

In november 2016 verplaatst het verhaal van Tinco Lycklama’s grote reis zich naar Iraq en het oude Mesopotamië. Hij verblijft meerdere maanden te Bagdad, en bezoekt de antieke plekken van Ctesifon, Babylon, Samarra, Khorsabad, Nimrud en Niniveh (en doet her en der ook wat opgravingen). Natuurlijk spreekt Tinco ook over de geschiedenis, de mensen en de gewoonten in de streek – en maakt hij kennis met enkele machtige personaliteiten in het Ottomaanse rijk. (Volg het verhaal op Facebook…, en zie Deel III van zijn “Voyage…“).

Itinerary of Tinco Lycklama’s travels in Iraq in 1866-1867 (red line), on a map by Victor Malte-Brun (1872)


We’re in November 1866. After spending nearly eight months traveling Persia, the young Dutch aristocrat Tinco Lycklama à Nijeholt (1837-1900) arrives at the port of Bushehr. He embarks on a steamer that takes him across the Persian Gulf to the Shatt-al-Arab – the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers – and then upstream all the way to Basra. A river boat then takes Tinco along the Tigris to Baghdad.

Tinco Lycklama is in Iraq – the old Mesopotamia that captured his imagination through the books and exploration by previous travelers. He will spend a total of eight months in Iraq, mostly in Baghdad but also at various ancient sites where he will occasionally undertake some digging.

Tinco is not an archaeologist. He is a well-read, educated young man with an adventurous mind and a fascination for the history, the cultures and the customs of the Orient. Because of the timing of his travels, he is also the only Westerner who wrote detailed observations of what he learned and saw with his own eyes. Indeed, whereas many of the ancient sites in Mesopotamia had been discovered by famous explorers in the few decades before Tinco’s trip, the Crimean war and its aftermath had put an early stop to further exploration and scientific travel.

Thus, Tinco Lycklama was – within a timeframe of 20 years, say, between 1852-72 – the only private Western traveler in the region. As the French leading geographer and cartographer Victor Malte-Brun (1816–1889, president of the Société de Géographie in Paris) observed, Tinco’s writings offer most interesting clarification and, in certain cases, unique information that would be helpful to future travelers and explorers (source: Bulletin de la Société de géographie, 1876 – view at GallicaBNF…).

Exactly 150 years later, we will recount – in brief words and with illustrations – Tinco’s time in Iraq. The exact chronology of the travelogue is provided by Tinco himself. For non-French readers, this will provide background about events and people in Ottoman Iraq in that particular timeframe. For scholars or people interested in ancient times, this may provide useful insights into what an academically trained traveler like Tinco observed at recently discovered sites.


It is not our ambition to be complete (at this time). We consider the travelogue as a basis for further study, and therefor we only concentrate on some key facts. By doing so, we may spark broader interest and provoke inquiries. We welcome your reactions and will be happy to include readers that wish to join our future research projects.

Broad outline of the Iraq stay of Tinco Lycklama à Nijeholt

  • November 1866 – Basra
  • December 1866 / May 1867 – Baghdad, Ctesiphon, Babylon
  • May 1867 – Samarra, Baqubah

After a brief stay in Western Persia and Teheran, return to Iraq…

  • September 1867 – Sulaymaniyah
  • October 1867 – Kirkuk, Erbil, Mosul
  • November 1867 – Niniveh, Nimrud, Khorsabad


09/07/1866 – Tinco turns twenty-nine in Tehran

Happy birthday, Tinco!

Tinco Lycklama à Nijeholt was born on a Sunday, 9 July 1837, at the home of his parents at Beetsterzwaag, in Frisia. Today, he celebrates his 29th birthday far away from his family. He is currently living in the lush Tajrish area, north of Tehran. His neighbour is Amedée Querry, chancellor of the French legation to Persia. In Tajrish, many foreign diplomats chose to live to escape the suffocating summer heat of Tehran.

Luigi Montabone  Veduta generale di Tegeris  [Ricordi del viaggio in Persia della missione italiana 1862]  1862     Photograph  Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana  N. inv.: 87266; segn.: 138.C.88. Tavola 55, scheda 235b:
Tajrish in 1862 – Photography by Luigi Montabone in “Ricordi del viaggio in Persia” – Collection Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana
Given that Tinco enjoyed socializing, balls, and music and dance performances, one would assume that he must throw a party today at his Tajrish home. Well, we currently don’t know. In fact, little is known (yet) about what he did exactly during his first 5-month stay in the Qajar Persian capital. So, unfortunately, we can’t say anything about how he spent his birthday.

On the other hand, we know exactly what he did on the three other birthdays that he celebrated during his travels of 1865-1868. So, because of the lack of precision on Tehran, we use this occasion to say a few words about his birthdays in Moscow (Russia), Hamadan (Persia), and the deserts near Palmyra (Syria).

Having said that, we hope that Tinco enjoys our present: a little collection of contemporanean photography about Tehran and Persia on Pinterest.

09/07/1865 – Birthday on Sparrow Hill, Moscow

Tinco arrived in Moscow on July 5th, 1865. He stayed five days visiting the city and, the day before his departure (which was July 10th) he made a short trip to Sparrow Hill (“la montagne des moineaux”). According to Tinco, visiting this hilltop was a must for any visitor, as it gave you the most magnicificent view of Moscow.

Montagne des Moineaux - Moscow
“Vue générale de la ville de Moscou, prise de la montagne dite des moineaux” – Date unknown – Collection: Library of Congress

Tinco also wanted to see the exact places that saw Napoleon’s withdrawal from Moscow on October 19, 1812 – after looting the city and before setting it on fire. Tinco takes the road to Sparrow Hill from Kaluga Gate – which is where Napoleon’s troops left the city that day. Thirty-five days before, Napoleon and his troops first laid eyes on the still-intact city from Sparrow Hill. Now, from the same hill, Napoleon looked at the devastated city he left behind.

Tinco briefly reflects on these events. He had an instant liking for the city and preferred it over Saint Petersburg, despite the latter’s grandeur and more modern architecture. One can only guess at Tinco’s feelings celebrating his birthday on Sparrow Hill.

09/07/1867 – Birthday with Mahmud Khan, at Hamadan

Gonbad-e ʿAlawiān mausoleum at Hamadan
Gonbad-eʿAlawiān mausoleum at Hamadan – Photography courtesy of Encyclopaedia Iranica

On this birthday, Tinco was in Hamadan – the city at the ancient site of Ectabana, once the capital of the Parthes and today a major city in Iran. Tinco met a number of interesting people at Hamadan, such as governor Abdosamad Mirza, Ezz ed Dowleh (1843-1929) – a brother of Naser al-Din Shah – with whom Tinco became instant friends and who visited Tinco in Cannes, in 1873. However, this encounter only takes place a few days after this birthday.

Tinco spends his birthday in the company of Mahmud Khan, former Persian ambassador to Saint Petersburg and London. He had met Mahmud Khan and his brother Amman Ali Khan previously in Tehran, in the summer of 1866 – at the home of Charles Alison, the British minister plenipotentiary. These were very influential men in Persia, even though they were not members of the Qajar dynasty but rather of the Qaraguzlu (Kara guzlou) tribe. Both tribes were transplanted at the same time centuries before from Syrian regions to Persia. The privileged position of the Qaraguzlu was owed to Naser al-Din’s father who had bestowed the rule over the Hamadan province to this tribe (though the Qajar princes maintained the nominal governorship).

The day of his birthday, Tinco was invited to Mahmud Khan’s impressive fortress and palace at Sheverin (Chavari), just outside Hamadan. In the company of Mahmoud Khan’s family, Tinco enjoyed dinner and music, as well as the excellent companionship of Mahmud Khan himself, who was fluent in English and French. Mahmud Khan had spent many years in Europe and, despite being a traditional Persian at heart, he was a protagonist for European-style modernization of the country.

09/07/1868 – Birthday with Sheik Mijwal, in the desert between Homs and Palmyra

You could call this a pretty exciting and adventurous birthday.

On July 4th, Tinco Lycklama was in the city of Homs (in current Syria). It was the famous Algerian military and politician Abd el-Kader (exiled in Beirut) who told Tinco to travel to Homs and meet with Jane Digby. As she was married to Sheik Abdul Mijwal al-Musrab, the leader of a powerful bedouin tribe, she was best placed to arrange protection for Tinco in the pursuit of his dream to visit the ancient site of Palmyra. Everybody had told Tinco it was impossible to reach Palmyra given the strife between rivalling tribes in the desert. But, Tinco was stubborn… and did it.

Thus, Tinco left Homs on July 6th and headed for the Sheik’s desert encampment. Given the turbulence in the desert, he only left on the 13th and reached Palmyra the 15th, escorted by 120 riders. Tinco paid a 1,500 francs for the effort (which probably amounts to around 7,000 euro today). It was the Sheik’s own brother, Yussuf, who took command.

But, on the day of his birthday, Tinco stayed in the safety of the encampment, in tents next to the Sheik himself. surrounded with a small army of over 5,000 men. On the day of the 9th, groups of riders drove out into the desert to observe the movements of rival tribes and got into occasional skirmishes. Before his departure for Palmyra, Tinco actually observed outright desert battles between the Sheik’s troops and tribes from the Hauran region.

Tinco was happy with life in the encampment. The food was basic, the comfort spartian. But il allowed him to observe for many days how life was in the desert. He was far away from his family, but at age 31 this would be an experience of a lifetime.

Desert encampment between Homs and Palmyra - 6-13-1868
Location of the desert encampment of Sheik Abdul Mijwal al-Musrab – July 1868





Official presentation of Tinco’s restored Qajar objects at the Musée de la Castre (Cannes)

Tinco Lycklama (portrait by Eugène Dretsch) amidst his Qajar paintings. Left of Tinco, Dutch Consul Peter van Santen, Terry Burte from the Mairie de Cannes at the right.

Cannes, 02/07/2016 – The Musée de la Castre at Cannes (F) proudly presented 18 restored objects from Tinco Lycklama’s Qajar collection of Persian art. The private viewing took place in the presence of Princess Eylah Qajar, Dutch consul Peter van Santen, and many officials from Cannes’ municipal authorities such as vice-mayor Thomas de Pariente involved with the cultural development of the French Riviera resort. And we were invited.

20160702_212154The 18 objects – including a number of unique paintings – are just a small part of the large collection of objects that Tinco Lycklama brought back from his travels through Persia in 1866-67. But, each single item is most precious and a fine example of the art produced by Persian artists under the Qajar dynasty. As Christophe Roustan Delatour, the museum’s assistant director, tells us, these objects go beyond the mere presentation of Qajar royalty and courtisans – it show us, for instance, how fabulous architecture, garden and landscaping were under the Qajars.

Tinco shipped many of his objects initially to his hometown of Beetsterzwaag (in Frisia), where he opened his first museum. He then moved the museum to Cannes (France) when he decided that this would be the city where he wanted to spend the rest of his life (at least in the winters, when the Dutch cold wasn’t beneficial for his health). Later, many objects that were temporarily upheld and stored in Damascus and Beyrouth (due to the political situation in the Ottoman empire), reached Cannes directly via Marseille. Tinco donated his collections to the city of Cannes and they became the cornerstone of the city’s museum. After being housed for many years at the town hall, it is today the major component of the Musée de la Castre – on Cannes’s seaside hilltop.

Throughout the history of the Lycklama Museum in Cannes, the collections have often been extremely neglected. Many objects have significantly deteriorated (and some are lost forever). However, over the past few decades, and in particular under the impetus of the current assistant director Christophe Roustan Delatour, plans were formulated and executed to revive these forgotten treasures and to bring Tinco’s memory (and his connection to the Qajars) back to life.


The many members of the extended Qajar family (present at the inauguration at the Musée de la Castre) have been very involved in the tremendous restoration works that these objects required. They contributed with funds but also with the passion they have for the cultural legacy of their dynasty.

Throughout 2017 significant initiatives are scheduled to further improve Tinco’s collection and turn it into a major cultural attraction in Cannes. This includes the restoration of two ancient halls in the Musée de la Castre which will be fully dedicated to Tinco and Qajar art. We have been invited to contribute to these efforts and, obviously, we will do so with a range of activities in both The Netherlands and France.

If you are visiting Cannes this Summer, here are the directions to the Musée de la Castre.


Edouard Colleman, alias “Liévin de Hamme” (1822-1898), priest

Voir en bas de page pour le texte en français. Klik beneden voor een biografie in het Nederlands door Hugo de Looze.

Liévin de Hamme R
Liévin de Hamme (1822-1898) – Photography by Félix Bonfils – The Fouad Debbas Collections (courtesy of The British Library)


Edouard Colleman (°Hamme (B) 11/08/1822, +Jeruzalem 23/09/1898), was a Flemish gardener who, at the age of 28, joined the Franciscan order in the city of Ghent. He was a lay brother, but became a priest in 1856 with the intention to go and serve the church in the Holy Land. From 1859 til his death in 1898, he mainly lived in Palestine and became one of the catholic church’s leading authorities on biblical places and on the practicalities of travel in the region. He accompanied hundred (perhaps thousands) of pilgrims from all over the world and from all social classes and served as a guide – both in spiritual and touristic terms.

Whereas he was well known across Europe, he has been all but forgotten in his home town of Hamme. He is relevant for the story of the life of Tinco Lycklama, as father Liévin de Hamme (his adopted name) accompanied Tinco for 40 days throughout the Holy Land, in 1868. Liévin and Tinco also discussed spirituality, and it was in the presence of Liévin that Tinco confirmed his catholic conversion on June 2, 1868 – in Jerusalem.

In his books (see “Voyage…”), Tinco Lycklama dedicates 180 pages to his visits in the Holy Land in the company of Liévin de Hamme (follow the links to see where they first meet on 02/05/1868 and say goodbye on 10/06/1868 – both times in Beirut). We will explore Tinco’s observations of Palestine on another occasion. On a permanent basis, we will try and discover the extent of Tinco’s friendship with father Liévin and its possible further reverberations throughout Tinco’s life in terms of his philanthropy and participation in catholic works.

Guide-Indicateur - Liévin de Hamme - couverture - Italian
Cover of the Italian edition of the Guide-Indicateur – by “Fra Lavinio da Hamme”

The reputation of father Liévin de Hamme goes hand in hand with his concrete legacy – his authorship of the “Guide-Indicateur des sanctuaires et lieux historiques de la Terre-Sainte”. This is literally a guide to sanctuaries and historical places in the Holy Land. It became the reference work for pilgrims and tourists for discovering Palestine, including practical recommendations and information that would inform travelers about practicalities such as accommodation, transportation, prices, etc. Four editions were published – in 1869, 1875, 1887 and 1896. (A digital copy of the 1887 edition can be viewed freely at…)

Flemish journalist Hugo de Looze has written a brief biography (in Dutch) about Liévin de Hamme and his origins. We are happy to publish his biography here with his permission (see link at the bottom of this page).



Edouard Colleman (°Hamme (B) 11/08/1822, +Jeruzalem 23/09/1898), est un jardinier flamand qui, à l’age de 28 ans, rejoint les franciscains à Gant (B) en tant que frère mineur. Son inténtion, c’est de partir pour la Terre Sainte et d’y servir son église. De 1859 jusqu’à sa mort en 1898, il vit principalement en Palestine où il devient l’une des principales autorités en matière de la connaissance des lieux saints. Il connait toutes les astuces par rapport à la visite et le voyage à travers la région. Il accompagne des centaines (voir, des milliers) de pélerins et leur sert de guide – tant au niveau spirituel que touristique.

Tandis que Colleman soit connu en Europe, il est quasiment oublié dans sa ville natale de Hamme. Il occupe une place importante dans la vie de Tinco Lycklama, puisque le frère Liévin de Hamme (son nom d’adoption) accompagne Tinco pendant 40 jours lors de sa visite de la Terre Sainte (en 1868). En plus, Liévin et Tinco parlent de religion et de spiritualité, et Liévin est present à Jérusalem lorsque Tinco se convertit à la foi catholique, le 2 juin 1868.

Dans ses livres (“Voyage…”), Tinco Lycklama consacre non moins de 180 pages à sa visite de la Terre Sainte en compagnie de Liévin de Hamme (suivez les liens pour lire leur rencontre le 02/05/1868 et leurs adieux le 10/06/1868 à Beyrouth). Nous parlerons des observations du Palestine par Tinco à une autre occasion. Nous étudions toute la dimension de l’amitié entre Tinco et Liévin, notamment en vue des oeuvres philanthropiques de Tinco.

Guide-Indicateur - Liévin de Hamme - couverture
Couverture de l’édition de 1887

La réputation de frère Liévin de Hamme est faite par la publication de son “Guide-Indicateur des sanctuaires et lieux historiques de la Terre-Sainte“. Véritable guide touristique, ce livre devient la référence pour les pélerins en Palestine, proposant toutes les recommandations et les informations nécessaires – y compris le logement, le transport, les prix, etc. Quatre éditions voient le jour – en 1869, 1875, 1887 et 1896. (Une version numérique de l’édition de 1887 peut être consultée sur…)

Le journaliste flamand Hugo de Looze a publié une brève biographie (en néerlandais) sur Liévin de Hamme et ses origines. Nous sommes heureux de pouvoir reproduire cette biographie avec sa permission (voir lien ci-dessous).


Biografie over Liévin de Hamme








The government of Naser al-Din Shah of 18/06/1866


Naser al-Din Shah Qajar (1831-1896), King of Persia
Naser al-Din Shah Qajar (1831-1896)

On 18 June 1866, Tinco Lycklama witnesses an important event in Persian politics: the formation of a new government. Coincidence?

Over a year earlier, in April 1865, the ruler of Persia Naser al-Din Shah had dismissed his cabinet of ministers and ran the empire with just a handful of close collaborators. In that same month, Tinco left Paris and embarked on his memorable voyage.

Despite the fact that Persia was top of his mind, it took Tinco a year before setting foot in the country. Actually, he leisurely spent the winter in Tbilisi (Georgia), and had no obvious urge to move on. However, early April 1866, he suddenly packed his bags and had to reach Tehran as quickly as he could.

So today, on 18/06/1866, the Shah appoints a new government. Some of its members are his long-time trusted advisors. Others are new and will play a major role in the years to come. The government under Naser al-Din Shah is generally considered conservative and quite autocratic. However, significant change is occurring. The country is keen on importing innovations from Europe, such as modern transportation and communications. Early industrialization of certain sectors of the economy starts to take shape. The new government incarnates these changes.

Over 1866-67, Tinco spends over six months in and around Tehran. He got very close to the tight political and diplomatic community. Though he talks only briefly about it, he develops a close relationship with one key member of the Shah’s new cabinet – Ali Quli Mirza. Besides being his great-uncle, this many is arguably also the Shah’s most trusted advisor – as minister of commerce, and assuming many other responsibilities. One should wonder why such a powerful politician and Qajar family member would spend his time on an ‘insignificant’ Dutch tourist – and even maintain correspondence after Tinco’s return to Europe.

Tinco Lycklama doesn’t specify any other particular encounter with members of the Shah’s cabinet. However, it is inconceivable that it did not occur. In fact, one anecdote illustrates this opinion. In September 1866, the Shah’s aide-de-camp conveys the Shah’s curiosity that Tinco had not yet asked for an audience with the Shah himself – despite having become a real presence on Tehran’s political and diplomatic scene. That meeting took place – but interestingly it was sort of requested by the Shah himself.

The list below provides us with the names and titles of the government’s ministers. We highlight their ‘modern’ names, followed by the spelling as given by Tinco Lycklama. We also provide some relevant links to online profiles for these people (some names require further clarification and we will update as we progress).


The cabinet appointed by Naser al-Din Shah on 18/06/1866…

  • Aziz Khan Mokri (1792-1871)Aziz Khan Mokri (1792-1871), Sardar-e Koll, Minister of War
    • Aziz Khan, Serdar-Koll, (Ministre de la Guerre)
    • See Iranica Online…, Wikipedia..
    • NOTE: he was replaced before November 1866 by Méhemmed Khan, Sepeh Sala Azem


  • Mirza Yousof, Mostowfi al-Mamalek, Finance Minister
    • Mostofi-ol-Memalek, (Ministre des Finances, Grand-Maître de la garde-robe, Directeur du timbre et des écuries royales), Mirza Youssouf
    • Genealogy on Geni…

  • Dost ‘Ali Khan, Muayyar ul-Mamaluk, Lord Treasurer
    • Moayir-ol-Memalek, (Contrôleur-général des Finances, Directeur de la Monnaie), Doust-Ali-Khan.
    • Genealogy on Geni…

  • Anoushirvan Khan Qajar Qovanlou (xxxx-1868)Anoushirvan Khan Qajar Qovanlu (xxxx-1868), Eyn ol-Molk, Etezad od-Doleh, Khan Salar
    • Etezod-ed-Doulet, (Grand-Maître d’hôtel, chef de la tribu des Kadjars), Eyin-ol-Molk.
    • See Qajarpedia…


  • Emam Qoli Mirza (1814-1875, governor of KermanshahAli Quli Mirza (1822-1880), I’tizad us-Sultana, Minister of Commerce
    • Etezad-es-Saltanet, (Ministre du Commerce et de l’Instruction publique, des manufactures, de l’imprimerie et des télégraphes), prince Ali-Kouli-Mirza.


  • Mirza Sa’id Khan Ansari (1816-1884), Motamen olMolkForeign Minister
    • Mirza Saïd Khan, Ministre des affaires étrangères, Directeur des chemins de fer et chargé des affaires relatives aux sujets professant un autre culte que l’Islamisme, Mirza-Said-Khan
    • See Wikipedia (German)…

  • Haji Muhammad Nasir Khan-e Qajar Devehlu, Zahir ud-Daula
    • Zéhir-ed-Doulet, (Ministre de la Maison-Royale, Introducteur des ambassadeurs, Surintendant du Harem, des travaux publics et des postes, Référendaire des affaires relatives aux princes et au clergé musulman), Méhemmed-Khan.
    • Genealogy on Geni…


  • Mirza Hosein Khan (1828-1881), Moshir od-Dowleh
    • Debir-ol-Molk, (Secrétaire-Général du Chah, Administrateur des domaines royaux, Directeur des postes et chemins de fer de la province d’Aderbeidjân), Mirza-Hosséin-Khan.
    • See Wikipedia…

  • Haji Muhammad Quli Khan-e Qajar Devehlu (died 1871), Asaf ud-Daula, Minister of Justice
    • Sepehdar, (Ministre de la Justice), Hadji-Méhemmed-Kouli-Khan.
    • Genealogy on Geni…

  • Haj Ali Khan Moghaddam Maraghei (1807-1867), E’temad os-Saltaneh, Minister of Pensions and Pious Endowments


  • Pasha Khan, Amin ol Molk
    • Emin-ol-Molk, (Garde des sceaux et Conseiller intime), Pacha-Khan.
    • Genealogy on Geni…

  • Emim-Khelvet., (Surintendant du service du palais), Mirza-Hashem-Khan.

  • Grand-Maître des cérémonies, Mohammed-Nassir-Khan.


Ali Quli Mirza (1822-1880), I’tizad us-Sultana, Persian Minister of Commerce

Ali Quli Mirza

Ali Quli Mirza, Minister of Sciences Commerce and Arts. Image taken from Qajar Album. Originally published in Iran 1863.

Ali Quli Mirza has been one of the most trusted and influential advisors to Naser al-Din Shah. A son of Fath Ali Shah, he was thus the grand-uncle of Naser al-Din.

Ali Quli Mirza lived in a palace adjacent to Tehran’s grand bazaar. According to Tinco, it was a wonderful place of luxury with European comfort.

In his travel writings, Tinco Lycklama describes how he had the chance to regularly meet the minister privately and how the relationship evolved into a sincere friendship. They maintained correspondence after Tinco returned to Europe. In fact, Ali Quli Mirza accompanied the Shah on his first trip to Europe, in 1873, and it is quite possible that they met again – possibly in London or on Paris.


(The profile below is taken from RoyalArk…)

H.I.H. Shahzada ‘Ali Quli Mirza, I’tizad us-Sultana (cre. 1856). b. 7th December 1822 (s/o Gul Pirhan Khanum), educ. privately. Governor of Malayar, Tuisarkan and Borujud, Mbr Council of State, Minister to the Queen Mother, Chief Examiner and Inspector of Dar al-Funan Coll 1852-1858, Dir Dar al-Funan Coll 1858-1860, Minister for Sciences 1859-1880, Culture 1866-1873, Public Instruction 1872-1873, Mines and Public Instruction 1876-1878, and Justice 1878-1880, Special Envoy to Emperor Napoleon III 1873, Governor of Malayer and Tuyserkan, and of Boroujerd 1873-1874, Presdt Council of Benevolent Reforms 1874-1875. Author “Al-Mutanabbi’in”. Rcvd: the Decoration of the Imperial Portrait, and the Order of the Lion and Sun 1st class, the Imperial Order of Nobility (Nishan-i-Majidieh) of Turkey 1st class, Knt 1st class of the Order of St Stanislas of Russia (1873), GC of the Order of Leopold of Belgium (1873), GO of the Order of the Legion of Honour of France (1873), etc. m. (first) Fakhri Khanum [Kuchuk], daughter of Muhammad Hasan Khan Afshar, of Qazvin. m. (second) Mah Sultan Khanum, a dancer and musician in the service of the Queen Mother. m. (third) Houri Khanum [Sigheh-e Tajrish]. He d. at Tehran, 14th December 1880, having had issue, one son and three daughters:

  • a) Major-General H.R.H. Shahzada Muhammad Hasan Mirza, Mu’tazid ud-Daula. b. 1860 (s/o Mah-Sultan Khanum), educ. privately. Dar al-Funan Coll, Tehran. Maj-Gen and Cdr of the troops at Fars, Governor of Mashhad in 1918 and 1922. m. (first) H.H. Shahzadi Gauhar Malik Khanum, Muhtaram us-Sultana (m. second, Mirza Mahmud Khan Mostofi, and left further issue), daughter of H.R.H. Shahzada Ahmad Mirza, Mu’in ud-Daula, sometime Governor-General of Arabistan. m. (second) H.H. Shahzadi Anwar ud-Daula, daughter of H.H. Shahzada Murtaza Quli Mirza [Aga Jan], Mansur us-Sultana, sometime Deputy Governor-General of Kurdistan. m. (third) Mukhatab ul-Mulk. Widows at his death included (same as one of the above?) 1- Gauhar Malika Khanum, Turan us-Sultan, and 2 – Nimtaj Khanum,Baha ul-Mulk. He d. before 2nd 1911, having had issue, five sons and four daughters:
    • i) H.H. Shahzada Muhammad Husain Mirza, Amjad ul-Mulk. b. 1885 (s/o Muhtaram), educ. privately. Governor of Radban 1919-1920, Munshi and Hon Attaché at the British Consulate-Gen 1921-1922. m. Azar Khanum. He had issue, a daughter:
      • (1) H.H. Shahzadi … Khanum. m. Aga Jamal.
    • ii) H.H. Shahzada ‘Ali Quli Mirza [Ali-Gholi Etezadi] (s/o Anwar). m. ‘Izz ul-Mulk [Ezzie Ardalan], daughter of Major-General H.E. Haji Abu’l Hasan Khan Ardalan, Fakhr ul-Mulk, sometime Minister for Commerce and Governor-General of Arabistan, by his wife, H.R.H. Shahzadi Abbasa Khanum [Bash Hajieh Valiya], ‘Izz ud-Daula, daughter of General H.I.H. Shahzada ‘Abdu’s Samad Mirza, ‘Izz ud-Daula, sometime Minister for Justice. He had issue, three sons and one daughter:
      • (1) H.H. Shahzada Husain ‘Ali Mirza [Hossein Ali Etezadi]. b. 28th July 1917. m. Farah Khanum (b. 1923), daughter of ‘Abdu’l Reza Khan Afkham-Ebrahimi, by his wife, Guilan Khanum, daughter of Amir Jan Ebrahimi. He d. at Fresno, California, USA, 20thOctober 1984 (bur. there at Clovis Cemetery), having had issue, three sons:
        • (a) H.H. Shahzada Bijan Mirza [Bijan Etezadi]. b. October 1941. Mngr with the Boeing Co in in St Louis, USA. m. Jane Elyse (b. 1948), educ. Adelphi Academy Brooklyn, New York, eldest daughter of … Friedman, of Staten Island, New York, USA, by his wife, Miriam, née Kreutzer, of Longboat Key, Sarasota, Florida. He had issue, one son and one daughter:
          • (i) H.H. Shahzada Kamran Ali Mirza [Cameron A. Etezadi]. b. at St Louis, Missouri, USA, 1975, educ. Ladue Horton Watkins High Sch, St Louis, Missouri, Rice Univ (BA), Houston, Texas, and Univ of Washington (MBA), Seattle, Washington, USA. Software Design Engineer with Microsoft Corp 1996, Microsoft Technical Leadership Team in Sweden 2000-2003, Mngr mobile web technologies, speech recognition software, and mobile computing hardware in the USA 2003-2007, Snr Mngr Software Engineering at 2007-2010, Snr Vice-Presdt & Chief Information Officer UDR Inc since 2010.
          • (i) H.H. Shahzadi Kimiya Anne Khanum [Kim Etezadi]. b. at St Louis, Missouri, USA, April 1977, educ. Ladue Horton Watkins High Sch, St Louis, Missouri, Drake Univ (BA 1999), Des Moines, Iowa, and Georgetown Univ (MA), Washington DC, USA. International Programs Exec “The Washington Times” 2000-2001, Ayrshire Assoc Investment Counsel 2001-2006, University Programs Specialist with Forrester Construction Co 2006-2011, Recruiting Specialist The Avascent Group since 2011.
        • (b) H.H. Shahzada Iraj Mirza [Iradj Etezadi]. b. 1946. Settled in Dubai, UAE. MD Castle Construction Co. m. (first) at Kensington, Mdx, 1970, Monica B. Looker. m. (second) Gulrukh Khanum [Goli Etezadi] (b. 1961), daughter of Taqi Shahrdar, by his wife, Mahin Banu Khanum, née Garoussi Kaboudvand. He had issue, one son and one daughters:
          • (i) H.H. Shahzada Kuraish Mirza [Kourosh K. Etezadi]. b. 1987 (s/o Gulrukh), educ. Ladue Horton Watkins High Sch, and Univ of Missouri, St Louis, Missouri, USA. Guest Services Rep for Univ of Missouri 2007-2009, Intern SazehPad 2009, and with PG International Commodities Trading in Iran since 2010.
          • (i) H.H. Shahzadi Atessa Maya Hadia Khanum [Atessa Etezadi-Looker]. b. at Westminster, Middlesex, 1973 (d/o Monica). m. at Bath, Somerset, 2005, ….
        • (c) H.H. Shahzada Turaj Mirza [Touradj Etezadi]. b. 1958. m. at Westminster, Middlesex, 1982 (div. June 2002) Pouran Jafarzadeh-Ghahy (b. 1959). He had issue, a daughter:
          • (i) Daria Guilan Etezadi. b. at Fresno, California, USA, 12th January 1995.
      • (2) H.H. Shahzada Malik Mansur Mirza [Malek Mansour Etezadi]. m. Samieh Khanum. He had issue, a daughter:
        • (a) H.H. Shahzadi Leila Khanum [Leila Etezadi]. b. 1941. Settled in West Holywood, California. m. at Riverside, California, USA (div. at Los Angeles), Victor G. Giganti.
      • (3) H.H. Shahzada Amir Hushang Mirza [Amir Hooshang Etezadi]. b. at Tehran, 6th December 1923 (yngst child), educ. Univ of California, Berkeley (BA 1948, MA Pol Sci 1950). Joined US Army as a private soldier and served in WWII, naturalised a US citizen 1945, cmsnd as 2nd-Lieut 1949, returned to Iran 1950 and joined Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1951, Attaché Iranian Permanent Delegation to UN General Assembly New York 1955-1958, attached Protocol MOFA Dept Tehran 1959, retd 1974, lecturer in economics and political science at Iranzamin Coll in Tehran until 1974. Dir Shiraz Plastic Products Corp 1970-1981. m. in Maryland, USA, 4th May 1955, Catherine McKone (b. at Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, 19th February 1925; d. 1988), joined US State Dept. He d. at Sacramento, California, USA, 2nd January 2003, having had issue, one son and one daughter:
        • (a) Davd Joseph Etezadi. b. at Tehran, 1960, educ. Univ of California, Davis (BA) and UCLA Law Sch (LLB). Attorney-at-Law California 1986. m. (div. at Clark, Nevada, USA), Mahtab R Etezadi.
        • (a) The Hon Susan Irene Etezadi. b. in the USA, 1958, educ. Univ of California, Davis (BA) and Univ of San Diego Law Sch (LLB 1983). Attorney-at-Law California 1983, Deputy District Attorney San Mateo Co, Judge San Mateo Co Superior Court 2007. Part-time teacher at Coll of San Mateo. Mbr Brd of the Legal Aid Soc of San Mateo Co, Iranian American Political Action Cttee (IAPAC), etc. Sec Women Lawyers of San Mateo Co.
      • (1) H.H. Shahzadi Fakhr-i-Taj Khanum [Fakhri Etezadi]. m. Amir Mohazzeb Shahin Nouri. She had issue, one son and one daughter.
    • iii) H.H. Shahzada Muhammad Baqi Mirza [Mohamed Bagher Etezadi] (s/o Anwar). m. (first) 1925, Aqdas Malik Khanum, from the Amiryaqubi family. m. (second) Shamsi Khanum. He had issue, three sons and six daughters:
      • (1) H.H. Shahzada Sultan Ovais Mirza [Sultan Ovise Etezadi]. b. 19th October 1939 (s/o Aqdas Malik). m. Pourry Etezadi (b. 31st July 1930; d. at Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, 28th October 1998 bur. there at Fairview Cemetery). He d. at the Greater Niagara General Hospital, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, 30th January 2005 (bur. there at Fairview Cemetery), having had issue, two sons:
        • (a) H.H. Shahzada Kava Mirza [Kaveh Etezadi]. Operations Superintendent of Red Lake Municipality in 2010, Coordinator of Roads Operations & Maintenance since 2011. m. Anna Maione Etezadi, younger daughter of Carmine Maione, of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, by his wife, Maria, née Stroffolino. He has issue, two daughters:
          • (i) H.H. Shahzadi Katarina Khanum [Katarina Etezadi], educ. St Paul Catholic High Sch, Niagara Falls, and Brock Univ, St Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
          • (ii) H.H. Shahzadi Tarana Khanum [Taraneh Etezadi].
        • (b) H.H. Shahzada Kamyar Mirza [Kamyar Etezadi]. m. Ann. He has issue, one son and one daughter:
          • (i) H.H. Shahzada Kamrian Mirza [Kamrian Etezadi].
          • (i) H.H. Shahzadi Kayla Khanum [Kayla Etezadi].
      • (2) H.H. Shahzada Muhammad Hasan Mirza [Mohammad Hassan Etezadi] (s/o Shamsi).
      • (3) H.H. Shahzada Muhammad Sadiq Mirza [Mohammad Sadegh Etezadi]. (s/o Shamsi).
      • (1) H.H. Shahzadi Malaka Khanum [Malakeh Etezadi]. b. 6th September 1928 (d/o Aqdas Malik). A leading royalist and supported of the Shah. Publisher of “Zolfaghar” and “Banuye Iran”, a ladies’ royalist magazine. She d. at Los Angeles, California, USA, 6thApril 1989.
      • (2) H.H. Shahzadi Ilaha Khanum [Illauah Etezadi] [Elahe Etezadi]. b. 1933 (d/o Aqdas Malik). Settled in Irvine, California, USA. She d. before 2005.
      • (3) H.H. Shahzadi Parnian Khanum [Parry Etezadi]. b. 1935 (d/o Aqdas Malik). Settled in Irvine, California, USA.
      • (4) H.H. Shahzadi Mahshid Khanum [Mahshid Etezadi] (d/o Shamsi).
      • (5) H.H. Shahzadi Shuhra Khanum [Shohreh Etezadi] (d/o Shamsi), educ. Coll of Literature & Foreign Languages, Tehran.
      • (6) H.H. Shahzadi Hingama Khanum [Hengameh Etezadi] (d/o Shamsi).
    • iv) H.H. Shahzada Muhammad ‘Ali Mirza [Mohamed Ali Etezadi] (s/o Anwar). m. (first) Farida Khanum, daughter of … Khvajavi, by his wife, Farangis Khanum. m. (second) Alia Khanum. He had issue, one daughter by his first wife and one son and two daughters by his second wife:
      • (1) H.H. Shahzada Sultan Majid Mirza [Sultan Madjid Etezadi]. b. 1949 (s/o Alia), educ. Andisheh High Sch, Tehran. Airline Transport Pilot in Seattle, Washington, USA. m. Zahra V. Khanum [Zohreh Majidi] (b. 1953). He had issue, two sons and one daughter:
        • (a) H.H. Shahzada Michael Sultan Mirza [Michael Etezadi]. b. at Bellevue, Washington, USA, 1991.
        • (b) H.H. Shahzada Maximilian Mehran Mirza [Max Etezadi], educ. Newport High Sch, Seattle, Washington, USA.
        • (a) H.H. Shahzadi Melissa Alia Khanum [Melissa Etezadi]. b. at Bellevue, Washington, USA, 1983, educ. Bellevue Senior High Sch, Bellevue, and Seattle Univ, Washington, USA. Joined KVAL-TV 2010, Producer in Eugene, Oregon 2010, Producer & Anchor in Hazard, Kentucky 2010-2011, Reporter in Lexington, Kentucky since 2011.
      • (1) H.H. Shahzadi Mihri Dokht Khanum [Navvab Ellieh Mehri-Dokht Etezadi] [Mehri Etezadi] (d/o Farida). m. Abbas Quli Khan Bayani, elder son of Colonel Abu’l Hasan Khan Bayani, sometime Naib ul-Hakima of Isfahan, by his first wife, H.H. Shahzadi Zubaida Khanum, Shams ul-Mulk, daughter of H.R.H. Shahzada Yadu’llah Mirza Jahanbani. She d. Tehran, before 19th December 2001, having had issue, a son.
      • (2) H.H. Shahzadi Manija Khanum [Manijeh Etezadi]. b. 1938 (d/o Alia).
      • (3) H.H. Shahzadi Mahvash Khanum [Mahvash Etezadi]. b. 1943 (d/o Alia). m. Abu’l Hasan Almoudeh. She had issue.
    • v) H.H. Shahzada Muhammad Taqi Mirza [Mohamed Taghi Etezadi] (s/o Anwar).
    • i) H.H. Shahzadi Beria Khanum, Afaq us-Sultana [Beria Etezadi] (d/o Anwar). m. Javid Khorasani. She had issue.
    • ii) H.H. Shahzadi Malik Khanum. m. H.H. Shahzada ‘Abdu’llah Mirza Jahanbani. She had issue:
      • (1) ‘Ali Jahanbani.
    • iii) H.H. Shahzadi Gul Pirahan Khanum [Gul Pirahan Etezadi] (d/o Mukhatab). m. H.H. Shahzada ‘Abbas Quli Mirza, Mukhatib ul-Mulk, son of H.R.H. Shahzada Shah Murad Mirza, by his wife, H.R.H. Shahzadi Nur ul-Ayn Khanum, daughter of his paternal uncle, H.I.H. Shahzada ‘Ali Quli Mirza, I’tizad us-Sultana, sometime Minister for Justice. She had issue.
    • iv) H.H. Shahzadi Shahzada Khanum Banu (d/o Muhtaram).
  • a) H.R.H. Shahzadi Fatima Khanum (d/o Fakhri). m. Sayyid Aga Jamal Hafezi.
  • b) H.R.H. Shahzadi Nur ul-Ayn Khanum (d/o Houri). m. H.R.H. Shahzada Shah Murad Mirza, son of her paternal uncle, H.I.H. Shahzada Haji Abbas Quli Mirza, sometime Governor of Halhala. She had issue.
  • c) H.R.H. Shahzadi Taj Mah Khanum (d/o Houri). m. 1863, General H.I.H. Shahzada ‘Abdu’s Samad Mirza, ‘Izz ud-Daula (b. at Tehran, May 1843; d. at Tehran, 21st October 1929), sometime Minister for Justice and Commerce and Special Ambassador to the Court of Russia, son of H.I.M. Muhammad Shah, Shahanshah of the God protected realms of Persia, by his wife, Uqul Beyga [Uqul Bajji], of the Salur Turkoman tribe. She d. from cholera while on pilgrimage to Mecca, before 10th April 1902, having issue, four sons and five daughters.

The Gates of Tehran

Some say that 19th century Tehran had six city gates. Other sources talk about seven or even eight. Of course, in the course of a few decades, one or two gates may have been added to serve the increasing traffic and expanding suburbs.

Unfortunately, little to none is left of the city walls and gates that Tinco Lycklama saw during his visits to  Tehran in 1866 and 1867. There is photography of these constructions, and it is quite possible that much material is still hidden in archives, waiting to be discovered. Unfortunately, many photographs available online seem to deliver conflicting attributions.

On this page, we wish to bring together a definitive and documented view on Tehran’s main infrastructure in the 1860s. As we wish to develop a visual reconstruction of the Tehran that Tinco Lycklama saw, this page will evolve and include photography (or, alternatively, drawings) that dates from as close as possible to the 1866-67 period.

Tinco confirms the existence of seven city gates in the years 1866-67. This is how he calls and describes them (see “Voyage…”, Vol. II, page 183…) :

  • Derwazèh-i-Dooulet (Porte Royale)
  • Derwazèh-i-Chimrân (Porte de Chimrân)
  • Derwazèh-i-Dooulab (the way to Rey)
  • Derwazèh-i-Châh-Abdoul-Azim (the way to the Abdol Azim mosque)
  • Derwazèh-i-no (Porte Neuve)
  • Derwazèh-i-Kaswin (the roads to Qazvin, Ghislan and Isfahan)
  • Derwazèh-i-Mahomeddjèh (named after the father of Naser al-Din Shah)

(Please note that “Derwazèh” is Tinco’s spelling of the more modern “Darvazeh” – meaning “gate”).

The most contemporanean map of Tehran available to us today is the one made by August Krziz, an Austrian artillery instructor at the Dar-al-Funun – the Shah’s elite school. According to sources, Naser al-Din Shah engaged infrastructural changes in Tehran between 1869-1874 – which makes us believe that the August Krziz map is pretty accurate for how Tinco Lycklama found the city.

Having said that, Tinco mentions seven gates, but the Krziz map only shows six in the city walls. One internal gate, namely the access to the royal citadel, could be counted as an additional gate, but this one is not mentioned by Tinco as a gate in the city wall. Thus, the gate we haven’t yet identified is Derwazeh-i-no (“new gate” – but Tinco definitely describes it as a gate in the wall. In addition, he tells is that a square adjacent to this gate served as a public execution ground). Perhaps Iranian sources (and yet-undiscovered maps) may reveal more to us in the future.

Below, we first give the map by August Krziz, together with a schematic drawing. Next, we show the Krziz map as an overlay on Google Earth including the location of the identified gates (with thanks to the help of members the Qajar Heritage group).

Further below follows again the list of gates described by Tinco, together with some photography. Some of the photos (Pesce, Montabone) dates from very close to Tinco’s time in Tehran. Others are of a later date but are probably representative of what Tinco saw. We will continue our research and update with better information and illustration, when available. (Thanks to all readers for any helpful advice).


1858 map by August Krziz - High Resolution
1858 Map of Tehran – by August Krziz
Drawing by Ali Madanipour
Tehran City Gates (1866-67) with Google Earth and overlay of August Krziz map of 1858
Tehran City Gates (1866-67) with Google Earth and overlay of August Krziz map of 1858

The Tehran City Gates

Dowlat Gate

  • Derwazèh-i-Dooulet (Porte Royale)
  • GATES TEHRAN - Dowlat Gate
    Dowlat Gate – Darvazeh Doulat, Tehran

Shemiran Gate

  • Derwazèh-i-Chimrân (Porte de Chimrân)

Doulab Gate

  • Derwazèh-i-Dooulab (the way to Rey)

Shah Abdol Azim Gate

  • Derwazèh-i-Châh-Abdoul-Azim (the way to the Abdol Azim mosque)
  • GATES TEHRAN - Shah Abdol Azim Gate
    Shah Abdol Azim Gate – Darvazeh Shabdolazim, Tehran

New Gate

  • Derwazèh-i-no (Porte Neuve)
  • GATES TEHRAN - New Gate 1850s by Luigi Pesce - Collection Getty
    Porta Nuova, Teheran. Album fotografico della Persia compilato dal Sig.r Luigi Pesce, Tenente Colonnello; Instruttore d’Infanteria al servizio dello Shah, Teheran, 1860. (Collection: Getty)

(Direct link to image location…)

Qazvin Gate

  • Derwazèh-i-Kaswin (the roads to Qazvin, Ghislan and Isfahan)
  • GATES TEHRAN - Qasvin Gate 1900
    Qazvin Gate, Tehran

Mohammadiyeh Gate

  • Derwazèh-i-Mahomeddjèh (named after the father of Naser al-Din)


Internal Gates

Citadel Gate (internal gate to the Arg)

  • Darvazeh Arg
  • GATES TEHRAN - Porta della Cittadelle 1862 by Luigi Montabone - Biblioteca Marciana
    Porta della Citadella, Teheran. 1862. Luigi Montabone Ricordi del viaggio in Persia della missione italiana 1862 (Collection: Biblioteca Marciana)

    (Direct link to image location…)



  • One source for the Tehran map by August Kriz is…
    • J.E. Pollak, Topographische Bemerkungen zur Karte der Umgebung und zu dem Plane von Teheran, 1877, L.C. Zamarski, Vienna (see reference on WorldCat…)
  • Possibly interesting literature about Tehran’s urban development…
    • J.E. Pollak, op. cit.
    • P.G. Ahrens, Die Entwicklung der Stadt Tehran , 1966, Opladen

12/06/1866 – From the heat of Tehran to the lushness (and politics) of Tajrish

It’s really getting too hot in Tehran and Tinco is doing what everybody else does – he moves to the countryside.

In 1866, Tinco Lycklama was the first Dutchman since a long time to travel Persia – and to write about it. In fact, in the wake of the Crimean War (1853-56) and the complicated geopolitics in the region, Tinco was the only European “tourist” to do so for a quarter of a century.

The 1858 map of Tehran by August Krziz - with the royal Arg compound highlighted in blue and the bazaar highlighted in yellow
The 1858 map of Tehran by August Krziz – with the royal “Arg” compound highlighted in blue and the bazaar highlighted in yellow (click map to enlarge)

A month ago, Tinco Lycklama arrived in Tehran (see post). He took a few weeks (just like we did) to understand the city and get acquainted with the people that mattered. Tinco was traveling with credentials from the French government and stayed as a guest at the house of Emile Charles Bernay – a clerk at the chancery of the French legation. He accepted Bernay’s hospitality only for a few days, and then rented a decent house near the city’s bazaar. Indeed, he needed more space – not only for himself but also for his horses and his men. Tinco had hired two additional servants (which made a total of five) because – as Tinco says – he needed to “conform to the habits of European life in Persia”. Let’s assume that this means that he wanted to command respect.

Later, we’ll tell a few more things about the Tehran of 1866. Right now, Tinco needs to move on as it is really getting too hot. In the summer, Tehran’s temperatures are sweltering. Tinco tells us that more than half of the city’s population (about 100,000 people at that time) moves to the suburbs to escape the suffocating heat. The elites took refuge around Tajrish, a village some 15 kilometers north of town. Which is what Tinco did as well. Located some 400 meters higher in altitude, Tajrish was dry and mild – the perfect climate for our Dutch traveler.

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Today, Tajrish is just a neighbourhood, but it was a distinct area back then. It had its own bazaar, and it also houses a Shi’a holy shrine – the Imāmzādeh Sāleh. In addition, it was on the road towards Niavaran, the summer palace of the Qajars. Basically, the foreign diplomats couldn’t get closer to the Shah than Tajrish. (However, in the summer of 1866, the Shah was mostly at his military encampment at Shahrestanak, together with his political and military entourage).

Tinco rented a wonderful house with gardens, next to the house of Amedée Querry – the French chancellor (see note below). On the illustration above, we give the approximate location of Tinco’s house. By his own description, the house was located on the edge of the Darband river, which streams down the Alborz mountains. From his garden, Tinco would cross the Darband and get onto what is called today Shariati street (click here for an interactive map). Back then, this same road connected Tajrish to both Niavaran and the city of Tehran.

By chance (?), Tinco has arrived at an interesting time – politically speaking. Indeed, in a couple of days, Naser al-Din Shah will appoint a new cabinet of ministers (click here for a preview). For over a year, the Shah had been running the empire with just a handful of trusted advisors. Now, he is about to install a pretty stable government for the long run, and he is setting the stage for reforms and modernization.

Tinco developed some interesting relationships with key players in the Shah’s cabinet. In Tajrish, he also engaged daily with all the diplomats. Only the French, the British, the Russians and the Ottomans had formal legations in Persia. Tinco knew all of them – and his relationships were very personal. We’ll have a closer look at the people he acquainted later on (click here for an overview of the corps diplomatique – research in progress).

As we saw, Tinco traveled with French credentials (which seem to have been arranged in cooperation with the Dutch foreign ministry in The Hague prior to his departure from Paris). His closest and most intimate friendship was, however, with Charles Alison, the British minister plenipotentiary. On the other hand, when he goes and meet Naser al-Din Shah in September 1866, he is introduced by Ivan Zinoviev, the first secretary at the Russian legation. Tinco mentions little or none about the Ottoman legation, but when he travels around Baghdad in 1867, he does so with the highest level of protection from Turkish officials.

“Je ne perdrai jamais le souvenir des trois mois que j’ai passé dans ce véritable paradis terrestre, lisant, faisant la sieste, écrivant, me promenant surtout, et n’omettant dans mes excursions aucun des sites qui font de ce pied de l’Elbourz une des plus ravissantes choses du monde.” (see the quote in Tinco’s “Voyage…”)

Reading, sleeping, writing, visiting – Tinco indeed sounds like a perfect tourist. With the difference that he also acquainted the powers-that-were and was a welcome guest at all the parties that the foreigners in Tehran and Tajrish organized. And parties they had, as there was little else to do in Tehran, says Tinco.




Tinco Lycklama and the “Ecole des langues orientales” in Paris

“Le baron Lycklama fut un savant et un lettré. Il connaissait et parlait toutes les langues d’Europe, avait des notions étendues sur les langues mortes et étonnait par la variété de ses connaissances en toutes choses.”

Bibliotheque imperiale en 1862 - source Le Magasin Pittoresque
La Bibliothèque Impériale à Paris en 1862 (source: Le Magasin Pittoresque)

This is what Jean Hibert, the mayor of Cannes, tells us in his funerary speech at the occasion of Tinco’s death (in December 1900, see source…). Tinco’s knowledge of languages may be exaggerated. Pending further research, we can assume that he was fluent in Dutch, French, English and German. He also gained solid notions of arabic languages and even Farsi. But, we also find in his travel diaries that Tinco required assistance from interpreters at many occasions.

A very interesting chapter in Tinco’s life is his time in Paris – and we still know extremely little about it. It is interesting, because it will provide us with answers to many question marks. What did he do in Paris? Who did he meet? What relationships did he develop? To what extent did it influence the course of his life?

Let’s remember that Tinco Lycklama set off from Paris for his “grand tour” (1865-1868), which took him via Russia and the Caucasus to Persia and the Middle East. In addition, Tinco writes that he spent the years prior to this trip mostly in Paris (rather than at home, in The Netherlands). Based on the records we currently hold, his time in Paris can be situated between the middle of 1861 (after quitting the university of Groningen) and early 1865 (the start of his travel). We’re researching many traces which will soon produce factual information.

One of the critical pieces of the puzzle about Tinco’s time in Paris may prove to be the “Ecole des langues orientales“.

On 30 March 1795, the French  Convention issued a decree which created a “public school, destined to teach living oriental languages, for the benefits of politics and commerce”. Thus, the “Ecole de langues orientales vivantes” was born, and it was located at the National Library.

From his private correspondence, we know that Tinco Lycklama attended this Ecole des langues orientales – based since 1862 at the Biblothèque Impériale, in the rue Richelieu. We currently don’t have documentary proof about the exact dates. In his own writings, Tinco refers profusively to articles and books written by teachers at this school. It is more than likely that Tinco knew them well. The number of students at this school was relatively small and the relationship between teachers and students must have been close. The teachers were eminent and reputed scholars with strong contacts with scientists and influential people around Europe. They were also involved in other learned societies which Tinco later associated with – such as the Société de Géographie and the Société d’Ethnographie.

Though Tinco Lycklama never refers to him, he must have been well acquainted with Charles Schefer – one of the iconic personalities in the history of the school. From 1857 onwards, Schefer was actually teacher of Persian, and in 1867 he became the director of the school and remained in that position until his death in 1898.

A better understanding of this institution, including its teachers and its scientific network amongst the orientalists of that day across Europe, may provide us with additional information about the life and work of Tinco Lycklama. We will focus research on the teachers involved with languages and sciences that were relevant to Tinco’s interests. This may take us also to Algiers, for instance. We have no records for this, yet, but Tinco affirms in his own writing that he made at least two trips to Algiers. This must have occurred during his time in Paris, and therefor it makes sense to look at who may have been involved in these trips. And, indeed, we do find a teacher of Algerian Arabic at the Ecole des langues orientales – the naturalized Irishman William McGuckin (baron de Slane). This is but one example, and only a hypothetical one. But, to discover the life of Tinco and to answer the many question marks, we’ll examine all these traces one by one.



Directors of the “Ecole des langues orientales”

(A full overview can be found on (the French version of) Wikipedia… Hereunder only an abstract of directors that Tinco may/must have met during his lifetime)


(Overview of relevant teachers during the time of Tinco’s studies at the Ecole…)



  • Tableau des Professeurs de l’Ecole des langues orientales depuis sa fondation. Published November 1883. Historical overview about the Ecole de Langues Orientales since its inception (1795) til 1883 – produced at the occasion of the international congress of orientalists at Leiden (NL) which was held in September 1883 (Sixième Congrès International des Orientalistes réuni à Leyde). The overview includes the teachers and directors of the school. (Source: Gallica/BnF)
  • Illustration and description of the Bibliothèque Impériale in “Magasin Pittorèsque”, 1862… Bibliotheque Impériale

Additional literature…

Party Time at Baron Lycklama’s

Tetar van Elven - Bal Travesti chez le baron Lycklama 1874 - Musée de la Castre
“Bal Travesti chez le Baron Lycklama 1874”, by Pierre Tetar van Elven (collection: Musée de la Castre, Cannes)

(Click here to view the painting in high resolution)

Tinco Lycklama had a reputation for organizing great parties at his villa in Cannes. He was definitely an icon of the local ‘high society’.

We know this as a fact before his marriage (1875) with Agatha Juliana thoe Schwartzenberg en Hohenlansberg. Indeed, we have two formal records about the parties organized by Tinco. One took place in December 1873, the other in February 1874. Below, we give some details about these parties.

There is no doubt that Tinco and his wife continued to be active participants in the social life of Cannes. Newspaper articles indicate their participation in various events. Also, given that Tinco was the city’s great benefactor by offering Cannes its first museum (in 1877), it is obvious that he remained part of the local scene for the rest of his life. But, we have no trace about any further parties organized by the Lycklama. Perhaps Tinco became more “quiet” once married?

Barely two years after marrying (1875), Tinco donated his collection to the municipality in December 1877.   It included not only the thousands of souvenirs, art and other objects from his travels and acquisitions – it also comprised the collection which he bought (in 1874) from the estate of the late Edmond Ginoux de la Coche (including unique artifacts from Oceania and Pre-Columbian art – now all visible at the Musée de la Castre). (For background on Edmond Ginoux de La Coche (1811-1870), see Wikipedia…).

That same year, they moved from the (large) Villa Escarras on the current rue de Latour-Maubourg to another Villa Escarras on the old chemin des Tignes. We also know that the young couple started to travel extensively, notably to Italy, in the subsequent years, and thus spent little time at their new villa. And, indeed, by the end of 1881, they move to a new home on the Chemin de St Nicolas.

So, whereas the bachelor Tinco was previously holding lavish parties in the splendor of the Villa Escarras and surrounded by his collection, his later domicile – and marriage – were probably far more moderate (for what that means for these young rich aristocrats).

The illustration above concerns the second party, held in February 1874. The painting (from the collection of the Musée de la Castre at Cannes) is by Pierre Tetar van Elven (1828-1908), a Dutch painter and personal friend of Tinco. Pierre was an avid traveler himself; though little is (currently) documented about his life, we know that he traveled through North Africa and also accompanied Tinco’s secretary Ernest Massenot on a trip to Beirut (this trip actually took place between the two recorded parties at the Villa Escarras).

Chronology and details (information may evolve)

09/12/1873 (Tuesday) – Party at the Amphitryon of the Villa Escarras.

  • Details (Quoted in Courier de Cannes 11/12/1873. and 14/12/1873)
    • Musicians: a double quatuor, including
      • M. Houdsorn (sic, is Antoine Oudshoorn), violoncellist (who played with the orchestra of Monte Carlo), solo  violoncellist of the King of The Netherlands
      • M. Hasselmann (sic, is Alphonse Hasselmans), violoncellist/harpist, “de la chapelle du baron Von der Vles”
      • Stiel, violon solo de la chapelle du baron von der Vles
      • Charles Dupart, piano
    • Plant arrangements: M. Martichon ( = Leopold Martichon, born at Le Luc in 1838/39)
  • Participants (as quoted on 23/11/1971, see source…)
    • Chevalier de Colquhoum
    • Comte et comtesse de Kergolay-Maubourg
    • Baronne de Lockhorst
    • Lady Talbot
    • Mme Tripet-Skipytzine
    • Comte d’Esprès
    • Comtesse de Bernis
    • Lady Franck
    • Lady Haygate
    • Comte de la Ferrière
    • Chevalier de Saint-Chéron
    • Comtes de Labédoyère
    • Comte et comtesse du Passage
    • Lady Ridell
    • Comte de Wimpfen
    • Mme de Bruchard
    • Comte Sterky
    • Mme Barbe-Patterson
    • M. Lucq

16/02/1874 (Monday) – Party at Villa Lycklama (painted by Pierre Tetar van Elven)

  • Details (quoted in Les Echos de Cannes 21/02/1874)
    • Orchestra: Orchestre du Cercle Nautique, led by Monsieur Brick ( = Paul Brick (1820-1881))
    • Buffet : La maison Nègre (Joseph Nègre, de Grasse)
    • Service auxiliaire: dirigé par Louis Richard, premier maître d’hôtel du Grand Hôtel de Cannes
  • Participants
    • Over 200 participants – see Les Echos de Cannes 21/02/1874