Skip to item: of 1,262
Information about this record Back to top
Open in Universal viewer
Open in Mirador IIIF viewer

'Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf. Vol I. Historical. Part II. J G Lorimer. 1915' [‎2239] (756/1262)

This item is part of

The record is made up of 1 volume (1165 pages). It was created in 1915. It was written in English and Arabic. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers Documents collected in a private capacity. .


This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.

Apply page layout

pu u of the class to which it belongs. A table of the principal
i ses- which are distinguished from one another chiefly by colour
d shape,— will be found in Annexure No. 5 to this Appendix, together
^th the rates for each class which prevailed in Bahrain in 1906. It
iould be noted that these rates furnish but a rough guide to the dealer,
f r they are in the form of maxima and minima only, and the actual rate
for a particular pearl is determined by considerations of " skin " or purity
and "orient/' or lustre, which cannot be reduced to a formula. These
rates are subject to change, and there is no doubt that during the last
half century they have risen enormously; between 1852-53 and 1877-78
they doubled, and since 1877-78 they have more than doubled again.f
Some experts, generally sea-going Tawwashes, profess a power to Art of the
distinguish roughly the depth of water and even the particular neighbour- pearl dealer,
hood from which a pearl shown to them may have been obtained; thus
they assert that pearls from the banks near Bahrain are marked by
greater lustre, and those from banks further northward by greater
' f solidity.^ However this may be, the power to discriminate at a glance
between pearls of different Aqsam (singular, Qism^ ^ ^ or classes
is possessed by all merchants ; and, such being the case, it is evident that
the success of the individual trader depends chiefly on his power to appraise
the relative fineness of pearls belonging to the same class,—an operation
in which, as we have already remarked, there are no rules to assist his
The merchant, even when otherwise illiterate, is ordinarily a
clever mental arithmetician and benefits by the fluctuations of market rates
and by the discrepancies of the weighing appliances in use in the Gulf.
In Annexure No, 5 we have given the market rates per Bombay Chau
only, but there are also market rates for the Bahrain, Qatar, and Poona
Chaus, and, as these are not always in strict proportion, it is sometimes
possible to buy cheap and sell dear by purchasing pearls according to one
of these measures and disposing of them according to another ; conse
quently a merchant who is versed in all the systems, and provided with
the means of working by each, has a great advantage over a man who
understands and practises only one of the four. The difference of
weights in the Gulf is possibly a source of profit to some dealers of the
less scrupulous kind, who pay attention to the discrepancies * ,* but a
dealer detected in the use of false weights forfeits public confidence, and
opportunities for individual frauds are few, because a seller does not
often part with his pearls until they have been weighed and priced by a
t UnlessBahrain Chau " in Captain Durand's report is an error for " Bombay
Chau" the increase has been extraordinary. Assuming first that there is no mistake
in the report we find that the average rate for the Yakah Baidha Mass in 1877 was
Rs. 46 per Bahrain Chau or Ks. 11| per Bombay Chau, whereas in 1906 it wai
Rs. 325 per Bombay Chau. This seems impossible ; but, on the alternative supposition
even, the average rate rose from Rs. 46 to Rs. 325,—a very remarkable increase.
Opinion in Bahrain, as elicited by further enquiry, favours the idea that Captaiu
Durand's Chaus were Bombay Chaus (1908).
^he small weights representing the fractions of a Mithqal are frequently much
heavier than they ought to be, Ratti weights being met with which are T V instead
^ & of a Bombay Mithqal, and Bahrain and Qatar Habbahs which are ^ and
tt of a Bahrain and a Qatar Mithqal respectively, instead of Weights are
made of agate or brass, the former being the more esteemed as they are not attected

About this item


This volume is Volume I, Part II (Historical) of the Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. , ’Omān and Central Arabia (Government of India: 1915), compiled by John Gordon Lorimer and completed for press by Captain L Birdwood.

Part II contains an 'Introduction' (pages i-iii) written by Birdwood in Simla, dated 10 October 1914, 'Table of Chapters, Annexures, Appendices and Genealogical Tables' (pags v-viii), and 'Detailed Table of Contents' (ix-cxxx). These are also found in Volume I, Part IA of the Gazetteer (IOR/L/PS/20/C91/1).

Part II consists of three chapters:

  • 'Chapter X. History of ’Arabistān' (pages 1625-1775);
  • 'Chapter XI. History of the Persian Coast and Islands' (pages 1776-2149);
  • 'Chapter XII. History of Persian Makrān' (pages 2150-2203).

The chapters are followed by nineteen appendices:

Extent and format
1 volume (1165 pages)

Volume I, Part II is arranged into chapters that are sub-divided into numbered periods covering, for example, the reign of a ruler or regime of a Viceroy, or are arbitrarily based on outstanding land-marks in the history of the region. Each period has been sub-divided into subject headings, each of which has been lettered. The appendices are sub-divided into lettered subject headings and also contain numbered annexures, as well as charts. Both the chapters and appendices have further subject headings that appear in the right and left margins of the page. Footnotes appear occasionally througout the volume at the bottom of the page which provide further details and references. A 'Detailed Table of Contents' for Part II and the Appendices is on pages cii-cxxx.

Physical characteristics

The foliation sequence is circled in pencil, in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. of each folio. It begins on the first folio with text, on number 879, and ends on the last folio with text, on number 1503.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
View the complete information for this record

Use and share this item

Share this item
Cite this item in your research

'Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf. Vol I. Historical. Part II. J G Lorimer. 1915' [‎2239] (756/1262), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/20/C91/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 28 November 2023]

Link to this item
Embed this item

Copy and paste the code below into your web page where you would like to embed the image.

<meta charset="utf-8"><a href="">'Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf. Vol I. Historical. Part II. J G Lorimer. 1915' [&lrm;2239] (756/1262)</a>
<a href="">
	<img src="!280,240/0/default.jpg" alt="" />
IIIF details

This record has a IIIF manifest available as follows. If you have a compatible viewer you can drag the icon to load it. in Universal viewerOpen in Mirador viewerMore options for embedding images

Use and reuse
Download this image