Unique book because of the hand-painted (Persian Lacquer) boards and provenance and history. Very fine two-volume set previously owned by Sir Percy Cox, assistant to Lord Curzon. The covers and spines of each volume have been replaced by fine hand-painted Persian lacquer covers!! The Persian text on the covers has not been deciphered but they are probably from the 19th century or earlier. The top edges have been heavily gilded. Each volume with the Bookplate of Sir Percy Cox, showing him in traditional Englishes costume and clothed as an Arab. Cox worked for Curzon and together with the famous Arabist / traveler Gertrude Bell he played a key role in the founding of Iraq.
The book in its own right (without the hand-painted boards) is already valuable and in mint condition. The book is a present form Lady Ravensdale, the daughter of Curzon to Percy Cox. The occasion of the gift being a session of the Royal Geographic Society (of which Percy Cox was chairman) during which Curzon was heavily criticized for inscribing his signature on some key Persian monuments (next the signatures of several ancient explorers such as Niebuhr) Even the Persian Ambassador formally complained in the Times about the damaging of the monuments in his country... Percy Cox, however defended the deed of Curzon during the RGS meeting.
With the books belong some newspaper cuttings and a personal thank you note in a tiny envelope by Lady Ravensdale relating to the events in the RGS. Sir Percy Cox (1864-1937) to whom this copy belonged, was a soldier, administrator and diplomat active in the Persian Gulf, Persia, Iraq and Nejd (negotiating with Abdulaziz ibn Saud) He was also political agent in Oman and played an important role in defining many of the present days borders in the middle east