"A mine of information on the development of the modern Gulf"

[Gulf Administration Reports]. Appendices to the Administration Report on the Persian Gulf Political Residency and Maskat Political Agency for 1896-97. [Series title at head: Selections From the Records of the Government of India, Foreign Department. No. CCCXLVII. Foreign Department Serial No. 92].

Calcutta, Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, 1897.

Folio (212 x 333 mm). (2), 68 pp. Publisher's original blue printed boards, black cloth spine hand-lettered.


Appendices to the annual "Administration Report" on the Gulf region which the British Political Residents submitted to the Indian Viceroy and Governor. The bland official title belies the true value of the series, which has been called "a mine of information on the development of the modern Gulf" (Cambridge Archive Editions). Regularly the reports contain political details of the local sheikhdoms as well as trade information.

The present appendix volume contains the meteorological tables for the year 1896/97 as well as, crucially, the year's trade reports for the entire Gulf region. The issue notes widespread lower trade revenues, which it diagnoses as due to an Indian plague and subsequent quarantines of port cities, as well as ongoing political unrest in Qajar Iran following the assassination of the Shah, Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, the previous year. The volume provides carefully detailed charts of imports and exports for Bushire, Lingah, Bunder Abbas, Bahrain, the Arab Coast of the Gulf, and Shiraz. Though most exports dropped, the value of Bahrain's in fact had gone up since the previous year, with its most valuable exports being coffee, rice, and printed cottons to Turkey and the especially valuable export of pearls to India. On the Arabian Gulf Coast, principal exports were, again, pearls, though these were largely bound to "Persian ports". Those on the Arab Coast also benefitted from the mother of pearl shell trade, one of the least impacted by the upheavals of India and Qajar Iran.

The "Administration Report on the Persian Gulf" was published under various titles annually between 1875 and 1957. Original specimens are almost unobtainable in the trade.


Removed from the London Library, with their printed label on the upper cover and their stamps (in blind and printed) on title-page and final leaf, accompanied by cancel stamps.


Macro, p. xii (s.v. "RAPA": Report on the Administration of the Persian Gulf Political Residency and Muscat Political Agency). OCLC 224558510. ZDB-ID 768652-3. Cf. the 1989 Cambridge Archive Editions reprint.

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