Wokingham Auctions

Rare Iranian cigarette box up for auction later this month
Posted On: 21 Jul 2018 by Pascal McNamara

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A rare cigarette box that hails from pre-revolution Iran has been found and will be auctioned in Wokingham later this month, writes Phil Creighton (of The Wokingham Paper on July 20th, 2018).

An inscription dates to 1969 and names Iran's then foreign minister Ardeshir Zahedi as its owner. the son-in-law of the former Shah of Persia, it has echoes of the opulance of the Shah's reign. Wokingham Auctions' auctioneer Pascal McNamara explained Zahedi later became Iran's ambassador to Washington where he feted the great and good including Henry Kissinger delivering regular gifts of caviar and other baubles like confetti; dated Elizabeth Taylor and held regular lavish parties at the New York consulate on the Upper East Side that today houses an art gallery.

In October 1971 the Shah of Persia flew in eighteen tons of food from Paris to celebrate his country’s 2,500th anniversary and his own glory. Emperors, kings, presidents and sheikhs from all over the world were regaled for three days amidst the ancient ruins of Persepolis. Only the caviar came from Iran.

Mr. McNamara added that the self proclaimed 'King of Kings' created a dilemma for Queen Elizabeth: accepting the invitation would mean she was subordinate to him, refusing would close door to a nation looking to open its economy and oil wells to the world, so she sent Princess Anne and Prince Philip.

He said the Iranian silver presentation box: 'The Shah era presentation box appeared at one of our regular valuation days from a Reading lady retired from the diplomatic services is clearly hallmarked with allegorical etched decoration. It has a guide price of £120-200'.

Viewing for the sale takes place on Friday, July 27th from noon to 6pm and 9am to noon Saturday 28th. The sale follows at noon. FOR FURTHER DETAILS, CALL 07446802450 OR LOG ON TO WOKINGHAMAUCTIONS.COM