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Persian Postal History

Persian postal history has not been fully documented and literature on the subject is in short supply. But a recent exhibition in London attempted to give an understanding of the vastness and richness of Persian postal history during the Qajar period and to show some of the political implications for Persia as it was "squeezed" between the interests of the super powers’ own interest at the time of the so-called Great Game and the consequences for the Persia's postal development.

 
‘Persian Postal History’ exhibition, organised by Iran Heritage Foundation was shown at the Royal Philatelic Society in London. The postal documents exhibited span from early 19th century through the end of the Qajar period. They form the collections of Björn Sohrne who worked for the Swedish Trade Office in Tehran in 1977-78, during which   period he started to collect Persian postal documents.
 
The items selected for the exhibition demonstrate the significance of Persian postal history in its geopolitical setting in Middle Asia. They include early 19th century desert mail, British military campaigns mail of 1839 and 1857 and Russian pre-UPU consular mail from Persia. The development of Persia's own postal system that was reorganised by Austrian administrators from 1875 was further emphasized in the exhibition.
 
The items in the collection are among the rarest of their kinds and include many of "the earliest" and "the highest rate recorded", such as the Lion issues (1875-1879) considered as world classics and much sought after. 
 
In this multimedia report Björn Sohrne takes us through his collection and tells the story of the development of Persia’s postal system.  
 


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