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Philatelic Gallery
Tobacco Regie

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Although this subject has no relevance to the philately, however, since the essays were prepared by the famous printing firm of Waterlow & Sons Limited of London Wall, England, and due to its historical significance, I have decided to mention it here.

Waterlow & Sons have also printed the early banknotes of Iran issued by the Imperial Bank of Persia, established in 1889 as a concession to Baron Julius de Reuter, a naturalized British subject.

The Tobacco concession was awarded to the British by Nasser-eddin Shah Qajar, however, the following turns of events fold the British attempt to follow through.

Brigadier General Sir Percy Sykes, wrote the following passage in his book, History of Persia (3rd edition, printed 1930), regarding the futile formation of the

Tobacco Corporation in Iran.

"Less fortunate than the Imperial Bank of Persia was the fate of the Tobacco Regie. This ill-judged concession gave full control over the production, sale, and export of all tobacco in Persia. In return for these rights a sum of £15,000 was to be paid annually to the Shah; in addition, after the working expenses and 5 per cent had been set aside, His Majesty was to receive one quarter of the profits. The concession affected the position of tobacco growers, sellers, and smokers alike; and in Persia both men and women smoke regularly. Its gross unfairness was aggravated by the fact that many of the employees were drawn from a somewhat low class and by the lack of tact displayed in dealing with Persian rights. In short, first public indignation and then fanaticism was aroused. Haji Mirza Hasan Shirazi, the leading Mujtahid, placed an interdict on smoking, and the order was obeyed throughout the land, the royal palace being no exception. Finally, after disturbances had broken out and intense hostility had been displayed towards Europeans, the Shah cancelled the concession and agreed to pay compensation to the extent of half a million sterling. This sum was borrowed from the Imperial Bank of Persia and may be considered to constitute the beginning of the Persian National Debt."



Two types of essays for the Coat of Arms


An essay for a share with French inscription

Tobacco5.jpg (18886 bytes)

Tobacco6.jpg (18459 bytes)

Two incomplete essays of shares with English inscriptions. All these essays are presumably unique.
These are all originated from the sale of the archives of
Waterlow & Sons Limited.

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