|Description: Extremely rare book: Only two copies of this seventh edition sold in auctions over several decades!! At an auction at Sotheby´s in 1998. Late 2014 another copy was offered for sale by Inlibris Austria. Contents (2)XIII(1) 292. The series of Pilots or guides to navigation were issued by the Admiralty, London, for a range of maritime areas including the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. The Persian Gulf Pilot provides, chapter by chapter, a progressive survey of the Omani coast and the Persian Gulf Coast viewed from the seaboard side. Particular attention is paid to navigational hazards, including weather, water depths and islands, the regular shipping channels are described and in the later editions illustrations of coastal profiles and views of particular locations are included. The documentary interest of the Persian Gulf lies in their detailed descriptions of coastlines and communities of 50 and 100 years ago, most of which have altered beyond recognition. The Pilots go into great circumstantial detail about local conditions of life as well as the geography of the coastline and shipping features. Even the names of the different tribes living or controlling different places are mentioned. The Persian Gulf pilot remains a valuable research source. The book also provide an index / reference to the different sea charts of the area. Some of the interesting text details in the 1924 pilot book:
P 36 Muscat: The town has a picturesque appearance from the sea. The suburbs of mat huts occupy every available piece of level ground in the vicinity. Muscat plus Matrah have a population of about 20.000. During winter Mosquito’s are numerous and cause a considerable amount of malaria, amongst the natives
P 70 Abu Dhabi is the principal town of the great Bani Yas tribe. Has about 20.000 inhabitants. The Bani Yas are a fine race of men, and the Sheikh is very friendly to the British. They wear their hair long over the shoulders, twisted up in plaits. Abu Dhabi was formerly the chief seat of piracy in these waters.
P 105 Manamah (Bahrein Island): There are about 110.000 in total people living on the different islands in Bahrain. Bahrain harbour is a resort for trading people from Persia, Turkish Arabia, Qatar and Trucial Oman. More than 1000 boats are involved in the pearl fishery.
P 142 Gwadar (on Makran coast and under control of the Sultan of Muscat): It is a dirty place, and it is advisable for visitors to sleep on board their ships, as fever is prevalent amongst Europeans here. Most of the dwellings are mat huts. The population is about 4350 in 1903.
Provenance / Inscriptions:
Very interesting because it contains numerous handwritten notes in ink by a contemporary Captain / Navigator who sailed along the Omani coast and the Persian Gulf. In the beginning of the book there is some writing in Arabic and the book has some old blue stamps with Arab text. Still need to have the text translated. The beginning of the book contains also handwriting in Italian!!!! "Correctto dicembre 1932 gd Amanpour?" During the late 1920´s Italy tried to gain influence in the Persian Gulf by increasing diplomatic ties with the Persian government and assisting them in developing a Persian fleet by providing ships and staff. The British saw this as a threat to the crucial naval business routes to and from India. The many notes in ink inside the book are in English however a few in pencil are in Italian .Persia was the only oil producer in The Persian Gulf at the time.