Sharing photographs and strawberries with the Qajars in Kermanshah

Tinco Lycklama is having a most interesting time in Kermanshah, as the special guest of Seyid Djouab. The Ottoman consul is a most entertaining host and takes Tinco along for wonderful horserides around the city, exploring the ancient monuments of Kermanshah – which was once a capital of the Persian Empire. Tinco also meets the Qajar rulers of Kermanshah, and discovers their keen interest in photography – and strawberries.

At the time of Tinco’s visit, the governor of Kermanshah was Emam Qoli Mirza (1814-1875), a Qajar prince with the title of Emad ed-Dauleh who occupied this position since 1852. He was an uncle of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, the Persian “King of Kings”, whom Tinco met in a private audience in 1866, in Tehran. Emam Qoli Mirza was a son of Mohammad Ali Mirza Dowlatshah (1789-1821), who had been governor himself and who was a son of the second Qajar King, Fath-Ali Shah (1772-1834). The Qajars in Kermanshah formed the prominent Dowlatshahi branch of the dynasty.

Emam Qoli Mirza courteously offered several gifts – including a waterpipe and family portraits. These belonged to Tinco’s most prized objects in his museum in his native Beetsterzwaag (NL), and later in Cannes (F). This was not the only time that Tinco met the governor. In 1873, Emam Qoli Mirza became Minister of Justice and travelled along with Naser al-Din Shah on his first visit to Europe. Tinco joined them during their Paris stay, in July 1873.

Emam Qoli Mirza (1814-1875, governor of Kermanshah B-W
Emam Qoli Mirza (1814-1875), Persian Minister of Justice (1873-75)

The governor had several sons. One of them was Murtaza Quli Mirza, Mansur us-Sultana (who died in 1905). In 1894-95, he became deputy Governor-General of Kurdistan. Murtaza Quli Mirza owned a very beautiful private park just outside Kermanshah, and he took Tinco there for a ride. He also introduced Tinco to Persian strawberries. Though Persia has a relatively large production of strawberries today, they were an extreme and exquisite rarity a hundred and fifty years ago.

It was another son of Emam Qoli Mirza who grabbed Tinco’s attention even more. The governor’s oldest son, Ali Quli MirzaSarim ud-Daula (who died in 1872), had been a deputy governor of the Luristan province, and governor of the Kubai tribe of Kurds. But, besides that, he was also an avid photographer.

The Qajars had a fascination for photography, and they were extremely well equipped for that time. They shipped photographic material from Europe and built enormous collections of photographs (only few of them are digitally available, unfortunately).

When Prince Ali Quli Mirza invited Tinco to join him at his Kermanshah palace, he had asked him to come dressed in the Arab costume he had bought in Baghdad (news travelled fast, even about clothes). The reason was that he wanted to take pictures of Tinco, which he did. Whereas he kept several pictures for himself, Ali Quli Mirza also gave Tinco copies of his own portrait, plus those of a few of the prince’s family members.
Unfortunately, we have no trace of these pictures. There is a solid chance that they could be found in the well-preserved photo collections of the Golestan palace in Tehran. Who knows, perhaps one day?

Did Tinco Lycklama read the Kama Sutra?

Sorry, folks, if we made the title sound sensational. But, a piece of factual information came to us – and we don’t wont to deprive you of it. And, it relates to the Kama Sutra.

Jelle Dickhoff in Leeuwarden is busy decyperhing private correspondance of Tinco Lycklama. Writing from Cannes, in a letter to his brother Augustinus dated 8 March 1887, Tinco says the following: “Dezer dagen kreeg ik een bezoek van Sir Richard Burton, een engelsche gentleman en reiziger in Afrika, die met Speke het meer Taganika ontdekte en ook naar Medina en Mekka reisden”.  (“I recently received the visit of Sir Richard Burton, an English gentleman and Africa traveller, who discovered with Speke the Lake Tanganyika and also travelled to Medina and Mecca.”)

Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821-189) – Photo source : Gallica/BnF

We won’t expand here on the biography of Sir Richard Burton (1821-190 – please check Wikipedia). The man certainly had a fascinating life and a strong sense for adventure – just like Tinco. Travelling with John Speke, Richard Francis Burton was the first European to see Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika, when searching for the source of the river Nile in the years 1858-60.

Richard Burton also had an interest in the topic of sexuality. This led him to team up with Forster Fitzgerald Arbuthnot and publish (in 1883) the first translation from Sanskrit of the Kama Sutra.

So, now we know from Tinco’s letters that he knew Sir Richard Burton. However, we don’t know yet why Burton came to visit Tinco in Cannes. Perhaps because of Burton’s general interest in world cultures and travel stories? There is a chance that Tinco met Burton in Damascus, in 1868. Tinco doesn’t mention Burton, but he writes about his visit to Edward Thomas Rogers, the British consul in that city. Richard Burton actually succeeded Edward Thomas Rogers as consul at Damascus in that same year. Perhaps he arrived before Tinco left. Or, he may have heard about Tinco from Rogers. Perhaps we will learn more about the relationship through other letters or souces.

First edition of the Kama Sutra, by Richard Burton (1883) – Photo courtesy of Christie’s

We really don’t know whether Tinco read the Kama Sutra. But, wouldn’t you think that, four years after its publication, Richard Burton must have discussed it when he visited Tinco? There is no trace in Tinco’s library. However, it would be awkward if he hadn’t known about the Kama Sutra from a first-hand source, its editor.

We recommend as an excellent source about Sir Richard Francis Burton.

Paris-Tehran : the Arthur de Gobineau angle

We have been working on a who’s who of the foreign legations in Tehran as they were at the time of Tinco Lycklama’s stays in 1866 and 1867. Remember that only four countries had active diplomatic missions : Russia, Britain, France, and the Ottoman empire.

Tinco enjoyed significant protection from the Ottoman administration once he reached Bagdad. However, when in Tehran, he never mentions any of the Turkish diplomats by name, even though he affirms that he met them several times. In fact, from the account of his travels, we gather that he didn’t think highly of the Turks. About the Ottomans in Tehran, the only thing he says (in quite undiplomatic terms) is that they were all remarkably obese!

He was close to the British minister, Charles Alison, and spent considerable time with the English from both the legation and the Indo-European Telegraph Department. The Russian presence in Tehran was significant and Tinco met its diplomats regularly. However, he talks very little about his encounters with the Russians and, oddly, never even refers to the ambassador – Nicolay Girs.

Tinco is a bit more forthcoming about the French. That makes sense, as their presence and importance at the Qajar court cannot be ignored. The Shah’s personal physician was the French doctor Joseph Tholozan (1820-1897). The royal gardeners were French, as was the chief musician. And, the country’s first polytechnic – the Dar-ol-Funun – was significantly inspired by the French approach to science and counted many French teachers.

Jacques-Adolphe Cousseau, comte de Massignac (1815-1879)
Jacques-Adolphe Cousseau, comte de Massignac (1815-1879)

Shortly after his arrival at Tehran, early May 1866, Tinco’s first official visit was to Jacques-Adolphe Cousseau, comte de Massignac (1815-1879) – the French minister plenipotentiary. Unlike the English and Russian legations, which had offices in central Tehran but moved to compounds outside Tehran during the summer, the French legation had just a single mission in the heart of the capital. Before renting decent lodging of his own, Tinco stayed for a couple of days at the nearby house of assistant chancellor Emile Charles Bernay. When he moved to a house in Tajrish, in the Summer, he became the neighbour of chancellor Amedée Querry.

The French legation provided great assistance to Tinco and his practical arrangements. In fact, Tinco was traveling with a formal recommendation that sollicited the benevolence of Massignac. The intriguing question is : where did this recommendation come from?

In that respect, we need to look at a number of potential candidates – and they may all gravitate around the Ecoles des Langues orientales, in Paris. One of them is Arthur de Gobineau (1816-1882). Gobineau is well-known as one of the leading thinkers on race theory. But, besides this area of debate, he was an eminent orientalist and acclaimed writer – an expert on the history and cultures of the Middle East. He was also Massignac’s predecessor as ambassador to Tehran (1855-63, serving the first year as secretary).

Arthur de Gobineau (1816-1882)
Arthur de Gobineau (1816-1882)

Tinco certainly did not meet Gobineau in Tehran. But, Gobineau belonged to a foreign service network that was tightly related to the Ecoles des Langues orientales. The circumstances seem to indicate (until further notice from the archives) that it was indeed Arthur de Gobineau who provided Tinco’s recommendation.

Arthur de Gobineau had studied oriental languages including Persian. When he took up his position as secretary in Tehran in 1855, he joins a legation that also comprises Charles Barbier de Meynard (1826-1908) and Amedée Querry (1825-1900). The next year, when Gobineau is appointed as minister of the legation, Barbier de Meynard returns to Paris and becomes a teacher at the Ecole des Langues orientales – where Tinco meets him in 1863-65. Amedée Querry, on the other hand, had become a close friend of Arthur de Gobineau and spent a total of seventeen years in Persia. Querry is considered one of the most important scholars and writers about law and justice in 19th century Persia.

Both Gobineau and Barbier de Meynard may have been instrumental in arranging a recommendation for Tinco’s voyage. Let’s keep in mind that, in those years, Tinco was the only European to undertake such an ambitious travel project. It is quite evident that Tinco was in touch with everyone in Paris who had some relationship to the Orient in general, and to Persia in particular. He may never have met Amadée Querry prior to his arrival at Tehran, but it must have been Querry that provided some important introductions has he had been in the region since over ten years. Massignac was courteous and generous in his assistance to Tinco – but Amedée Querry was probably Tinco’s most valuable contact.

There is so much more to discover about this trail of connections. It will help us in understanding how Tinco prepared his grand voyage. It may also shed some light on Tinco’s activities in subsequent years, his connections with the Société de Géographie and the Société d’Ethnographie in Paris, and with to scholars and travellers in other countries. And, through these connections, we should also get a better grip on his years of study (and partying?) in Paris – of which so little is known, yet.



  • For an excellent backgrounder on the people behind the French legation to Iran in the 19th centure – and in particular on Amedée Querry, we recommend the excellent monograph (in French only, at this time) by Prof. Florence Hellot-Bellier: Amédée Querry : drogman en Perse au milieu du XIXe siècle.

Tinco Lycklama and the Persian telegraph men – business or pleasure at Pas-e-Qaleh?

Around this time, in 1866, Tinco Lycklama made a brief and leasurely excursion into the Alborz mountains. Leaving his summer residence in Tajrish (north of Tehran), he traveled the same road as the one he took on August 23, on his way to the Shah’s encampment at Shahrestanak. However, this time he simply went to look for a waterfall, a few kilometers higher and beyond the village of Pas-e-Qaleh (or, as he calls it, Paskalé).

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Tinco obviously enjoyed the visit to the waterfall. But, the excursion is perhaps more interesting for the people he was traveling with. Major Smith, Captain Pierson, Doctor Baker, Mr. Mounsey, and Mr. Helm. The former three were all employees of the Indo-European Telegraph Department (1), a British government agency responsible for connecting the nascent telegraph communications in Persia into an international network. Mounsey was a secretary at the British legation in Tehran. And Mr. Helm, well, we’re not sure about him – except that Tinco calls him ‘a tourist’.

Telegraphy in Persia

One of the questions about Tinco Lycklama’s travels through the Middle East is this: how did he stay in touch with his friends and family in Paris and The Netherlands?. He tells us that he sent and received letters. He also talks a lot about (and with) the personnel working on the telegraph systems in the Middle East. He never tells us if he used the telegraph himself. We assume he did.

Siemens telegraph pole from 1870
Telegraph pole in Persia, dating from 1870

Having said that, Tinco arrived in Persia at a time when telegraphy was totally new in the region (2). Since 1858, the Persians had started experimenting with telegraphy, but only to connect a few places within the country. The first connections were established between Qajar palaces and some cities close to Tehran – allowing Naser al-Din Shah and his administration to communicate faster and excercise power in a more efficient way. As it happens, Persia was only connected ‘to the world’ from March 1865 onwards (3), when the local Persian system was hooked into the international system built by the Indo-European Telegraph Department.

Thus, when Tinco arrived in Tehran, it was theoretically possible for him to send a message to Paris (which could be useful, as his financial affairs were managed through the French capital). However, keep in mind that sending telegraph messages in those days was not like making a phone call! A message between London and Karachi would typically take 6 days, as the message had to be intercepted and re-transcribed at verious posts along the lines.

The Persian system also connected into the competing system backed by the German Siemens family – the Indo-European Telegraph Company (note the confusing names of these competing entities!). However, it’s only in April 1868 that Tehran connects through this alternative route to London, via the Caucasus, Russia, Warsaw, and Berlin (and thus after Tinco’s departure from the region).

Socializing at Pas-e-Qaleh

Interestingly, In Persia and Iraq, Tinco often traveled along the exact main routes that the overland cables were taking. And he certainly was interested in the topic of telegraphy. It is therefore not a surprise that he would make the trip to the Pas-e-Qaleh waterfall in the company of people that had a major hand in building the network.

Robert Murdoch Smith (1835-1900)
Sir Robert Murdoch Smith, KCMG (1835-1900)

Major Smith was Robert Murdoch Smith (1835–1900) (see his profile…). He was a military officer but also an archaeologist who proceeded (between 1856-61) with excavations in present Turkey and the North African Cyrenaica. During his time in Persia (1863-85), he collected valuable Persian art on behalf of the South Kensington Museum. Subsequently, he became the Director of the Science and Art Museum at Edinburgh, and was also chairman of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. But, Robert Murdoch Smith was also a major force in telegraphy. It was he who, in 1863, negotiated with the Qajar court the right for the Indo-European Telegraph Department to construct lines in Persia. He remained working for the Department until 1885 and, in 1887 (after his return to London) he became its director-in-chief.

Captain Pierson was William Henry Pierson (1839-1881) (see Wikisource…), a military officer who did duty in India between 1860-63.  He joined the Indo-European Telegraph Department in 1863 and was critical to the success of constructing large tracts of line from Bagdad into Persia. In 1866, he also did a brief stint on the telegraph lines in the Caucasus. Pierson was also the main designer and builder of the new British legation at Tehran. In 1871-73, he becomes the director of the Persian Telegraph, and later returns to military duties in England.

Doctor Baker was James Edmund Baker, the head physician to the Indo-European Telegraph Company (not the Department!in Persia. We know little of him, but he is noted for an authoritative report to the House of Commons in 1886, about the sanitary situation in Persia (4). On the other hand, we do know something about his family. James Edmund Baker was a son of a military officer named John Robinet Baker. He had several sisters. Eleanor Katherine Baker married Robert Murdoch Smith in 1869. Another sister, Frances Josephine Baker, married in 1870 to William John Dickson, the Oriental secretary at the legation in Tehran. The Bakers were a well connected family!

Augustus Henry Mounsey
Augustus Henry Mounsey (1834-1882)

M. Mounsey was August Henry Mounsey (1834-1882) (see Wikipedia…) – was not working for the Telegraph Department. He was a career diplomat who, after a few previous assignments, was stationed in Tehran in 1865 as 2nd secretary to the British legation. Together with the minister plenipotentiary Charles Alison, he is particularly remembered for the substantial relief efforts made for the Jewish victims of the pogrom at Barfurush, in May 1867. Later, Mounsey was stationed to many other places in Europe, but he is most noted for his duty in Japan, where he was a direct witness of the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877 – an event about which he wrote a book.

That leaves us with M. Helm, the remaining member of the little excursion to the Pas-e-Qaleh waterfall. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to identify him. Tinco Lycklama describes him as a “young tourist, and very skilled hunter“. It is a bit unusual that Tinco, who is otherwise quite meticulous with details and information, doesn’t tell us who Helm was, or from which country he came. Given the German-sounding name, one could wonder if Helm was in any way associated with the efforts of the Siemens company  to negotiate the connection of Tehran to the telegraph system through the Caucasus and Russia (efforts that were ultimateluy successful in 1868). Dr. Baker worked for the Indo-European Telegraph Company – which was primarely backed by Siemens. But, this is just one of many possibilities.

Business or pleasure?

Tinco enjoyed very much his escapade – and the excellent company – to the Pas-e-Qaleh waterfall. They had to leave their horses behind in the village, and had some very difficult and perilous climbing to do for about 4 kilometers towards the waterfall. But, it was worth it. The waterfall in itself wasn’t that pretty, but the view was spectacular, nevertheless. They had great fun, did some hunting and had a delicious barbecue.

Ali Quli Mirza
Ali Quli Mirza, Minister of Telegraphy (and other duties) – Portrait published in 1863.

Did Tinco have more in mind than simply enjoying the scenery? Did he have a particular interest in what was happening with the telegraph systems in Persia? We don’t know. On the other hand, let’s keep in mind that Naser al-Din had appointed a new government in June 1866. The minister for Telegraphy (amongst his other attributions) was Ali Quli Mirza, a powerful advisor who was a son of Fath Ali Shah (and thus a grand-uncle of Naser al-Din). Tinco became close friends with this powerful minister, and they maintained a correspondance long after Tinco’s return to Europe. We know that Tinco was a sociable person, but there are some interesting coincidences that beg for closer scrutiny.




Further reading…

  1. About the Indo-European Telegraph Department, see the German Wikipedia page…
  2. For a history of telegraphy, check the Distant Writing web site…, and in particular its chapter about “Competitors & Allies”, which provide great detail about the operations of the telegraph companies in Russia, the Caucasus, Persia, and the Ottoman empire.
  3. A chapter on the early years (1858-1865) of telegraphy in Persia, when the system was destined only to transmit messages within Persia itself, see Iranica Online…
  4. “A few remarks on the most prevalent Diseases and the Climate of the North of Persia”, by Dr. James Edmund Baker, Report to the House of Commons, 1886


Charles Alison and Tinco Lycklama, brothers-in-beards

Charles Alison - Tinco Lycklama - Composed image

Charles Alison (1810-1872) was Britain’s minister plenipotentiary (the top diplomat) to the Qajar court in Tehran, from 1860 til his death. He was an interesting person, and we’re working on a short biography that will highlight a few interesting aspects of his life, and cover his role in an ambivalent diplomatic relationship between Britain and Persia.

He was also a friend of Tinco Lycklama. They met soon after Tinco’s arrival at Tehran, in May 1865. Shortly before his departure from the capital (to continue his travel through Persia), Tinco sold off a few horses and thanked the servants he had employed at his rejted house in Tajrish. Charles Alison insisted that Tinco would stay another two weeks at the British summer compound in Gulhek. Tinco had at his disposal a separate house opposite the minister’s residence, in the middle of the gardens, and had free use of the horses and servants at the service of the British legation.

Charles Alison (1810-1872)
Charles Alison (1810-1872), by Capt. W.H. Pierson, courtesy of Miss Philippa Bateman-Champain – Printed in “The English Amongst the Persians: Imperial Lives in Nineteenth-Century Iran” by Denis Wright, 2001, I.B. Tauris Publishers, London/New York.

We just discovered a drawing of Charles Alison, made in 1865. When they met in 1866, Tinco wasn’t sporting a beard, but he did so no later than 1883 (as the picture shows). Was Tinco’s beard inspired by Charles Alison?

They became really good friends. Tinco hints at the awkward diplomatic situation of Charles Alison (without going into details). He also expresses his view that the man was underestimated and unjustly neglected by his peers and superiors in London. He describes him as a most interesting and educated person, and an excellent host. The man also carried a personal burden, having been in love with Elizabeth Baltazzi – a married lady in Constantinople; they married in 1863, after the death of Elizabeth’s husband – but she died barely nine months later.

Charles Alison passed away at Tehran in 1872. When Tinco is in the process of writing his travel stories, he learned about Alison’s death and sadfully refers to the loss of a good friend.

We have been able to obtain maps of the British compound at Gulhek and have identified the comfortable house where Tinco stayed for two weeks, in September 1866. We will do more extensive research and cover these topics in future articles.

Readers with access to diplomatic archives in London and Tehran are most welcome to contribute with biographical information about Charles Alison.


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








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.

Sir Robert Murdoch Smith (1835-1900), engineer, archaeologist and diplomat

In 1866, when Tinco Lycklama visits Tehran for the first time, he meets with “Captain Smith” – who happens to be the later Major-General Sir Robert Murdoch Smith. Their relationship is social; Robert Murdoch Smith had just arrived in Persia and had not yet started the work he is most remembered for – collecting objects in Persia.

Whereas Robert Murdoch Smith started his career as an Scottish engineer working on the Persian telegraph system, in 1873 he also would become an agent for the South Kensington Museum and, later, for the Victoria & Albert museum. The acquisitions by Robert Murdoch Smith have been the start of the Iran collection at the V&A.

(See biography and links below the picture)

Robert Murdoch Smith (1835-1900)
Robert Murdoch Smith (1835-1900) – Collection National Museums Scotland



(see source in notes below)

Major General Sir Robert Murdoch Smith KCMG (18 August 1835 – 3 July 1900) was a Scottish engineer, archaeologist and diplomat. He is known for his involvement with the excavation of antiquities found at Knidos and Cyrene, the telegraph to Iran, Persian antiquities bought for the Victoria and Albert Museum, and for serving as Director of the Edinburgh Museum of Science and Art.

Early life
Smith was born on 18 August 1835 in Bank Street, Kilmarnock. He was the second child of Jean (born Murdoch) and Dr Hugh Smith.[1] He attended Kilmarnock Academy and went on to spend four years at Glasgow University.[2] He found moral philosophy vague, but excelled at science, in which he was taught by a young Lord Kelvin.[1]

Smith joined the army during the Crimean War and out of the 380 candidates who took the entry exam he came first. In September 1855, Smith was gazetted to Lieutenant and in the following October was chosen to lead a small group of Royal Engineers bound to help Charles Thomas Newton’s archaeological mission to the remains of the ancient civilisation at Knidos in Turkey.[1]

The Lion of Knidos was found in 1858 by the architect Richard Popplewell Pullan near where he was helping Newton’s Knidos excavations.[3] Smith’s role was significant as he was presented with a large statue that had fallen onto its front face on a high cliff[1] and it was Smith who discovered the location of the mausoleum.[4] The limestone core of a monument was still there but the marble had been moved or stolen. Other pieces of worked stone lay around where they had been abandoned. Smith was able to replace, examine and move each of the remaining stones, and to create a detailed report on the supposed construction and its historical context.[1] This allowed Pullen to sketch what is thought to be a good reproduction of what the whole mausoleum would have looked like.[5] The Lion of Knidos was loaded onto the naval ship HMS Supply and shipped to London, where it is now held in the British Museum.[3]

Smith was very interested in archaeology and he decided to fund another two-year expedition to excavate the lost settlements of Cyrenaica in North Africa. The British government had permitted this expedition and when Smith and Lieutenant E. A. Porcher returned they deposited a large quantity of Cyrene sculptures and artefacts in the British Museum. This included the 2.29-metre (7 ft 6 in) high Apollo of Cyrene which they found in 121 pieces. They moved the pieces away secretly, fearing the marble fragments would be further destroyed by the locals because the sculpture was non-Islamic.[6] In 1862, Smith was able to publish his account of the excavations at Knidos, and in 1864 he wrote and Porcher illustrated their report on the Cyrene work.[4]

From 1865 Smith was a director of the Persian Telegraph Company, which enabled him to drastically improve the local infrastructure. He obtained this appointment following two years he spent assisting with the difficult task of installing the 1,200-mile-long wire required to join Tehran to London. Smith noted that this was done under difficult conditions as the locals saw it as a tool of the colonists.[2]

In parallel with this he had not lost his interest in culture. In 1873, he was given the unusual task of gathering artefacts and antiquities for the United Kingdom paid for by the Department of Science and Art. Smith did not just buy individual items, but in at least one case bought an entire collection belonging to Jules Richard in 1875.[7] Richard was known as Ri??r Khan and had initially worked as a translator, but he was involved in a variety of tasks from photography to balloon manufacture for the Shah.[8]

He lived in Tehran and his collection was so extensive that a special exhibition was staged in 1876 with a guide to the Victoria and Albert Museum’s special gallery written by Smith. The V&A acknowledge that it is Smith’s acquisitions that formed their Iranian collection.[7] Smith had not ignored his main job and his partnership with the Shah, Nasir al-Din, was noted when he received his Sword of Honour.[4]

The relatively new Edinburgh Museum of Science and Art appointed him as its director in 1885 and he was made Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) three years later, following a successful diplomatic mission to renegotiate Persian telegraph contracts. He gained a significant extension to the contracts and a diamond snuff box from the Shah. He died in Edinburgh in 1900, leaving two daughters.[4]

^ a b c d e The Life of Major-General Sir Robert Murdoch Smith, K.C.M.G., Royal Engineers, William Kirk Dickson, 1901, Blackwood
^ a b Robert Murdoch Smith (1835-1900), Kilmarnock Academy. Retrieved 2 December 2013
^ a b British Museum Collection The Lion of Knidos, British Museum. Retrieved 30 November 2013
^ a b c d George Stronach, ‘Smith, Sir Robert Murdoch (1835-1900)’, Rev. Roger T. Stearn, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 2 Dec 2013
^ Jenkins, Ian (2006). Greek architecture and Its Sculpture. New York: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674023889.
^ The Cyrene Apollo, Peter Higgs, History Today, Vol. 44, No. 11. Retrieved 2 December 2013
^ a b Major-General Sir Robert J. Murdoch Smith, Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 2 December 2013
^ Rishar Khan, iranicaonline. Retrieved 2 December 2013


Joseph Alberdingk Thijm (1820-1889), author and publisher

Josephus Albertus Alberdingk Thijm (Amsterdam, 13 August 1820 – Amsterdam, 17 March 1889). Dutch author, publisher and lecturer. Alberdingk Thijm was a member of the Amsterdam publishing firm C.L. van Langenhuysen – the Dutch publisher of Tinco Lycklama’s four volumes about his travel through the Orient (see “Voyage…”)


Joseph Alberdingk Thijm (1820-1889) – photography from around 1880