Lot 297: An Elizabeth II sterling silver Iranian Imperial Armorial Ambassadorial part dinner service, Mappin & Webb, Sheffield, England, 1953...
December 14, 2016
Philadelphia, PA, USALive Auction
An Elizabeth II sterling silver Iranian Imperial Armorial Ambassadorial part dinner service
Mappin & Webb, Sheffield, England, 1953 and various dates
Comprising 59 dinner forks, eleven dinner knives with stainless steel English blades, 36 dinner knives with stainless steel French blades, 18 luncheon forks, eleven luncheon knives with stainless steel French blades, eleven luncheon knives with stainless steel English blades, 24 fish forks, 24 fish knives, 24 fruit/dessert forks, 24 fruit/dessert knives, twelve place spoons, 20 table spoons, twelve bouillon spoons, 24 cream soup spoons, 23 small tea and coffee spoons, 26 butter knives, four sauce ladles, two meat carving sets (six pieces total), two poultry carving sets(four pieces total), four fish servers (eight pieces total). (approx. 393).
Weight: 546.625 oz. t. (excluding knives); Weight of knives: 393.97 oz. t.
Iranian Embassy, Washington, D.C.
Acquired by Malcolm Forbes December 5-7, 1983, Iranian Embassy Sale. Weschler''s Estate Auction, Washington, D.C. Lots 1280, 1282, 1285, and 1287
Malcolm Forbes, New York
Thence by descent
Condition Report: Descriptions provided in both printed and on-line catalogue formats do not include condition reports. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Interested bidders are strongly encouraged to request a condition report on any lots upon which they intend to bid, prior to placing a bid. All transactions are governed by Freeman's Conditions of Sale.
In 1953, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi of Iran returned to power after the United Kingdom and United States aided a coup against Prime Minister Mossadegh in August. This service was likely ordered after the restoration from the venerable firm of Mappin & Webb in London, and sent to the U.S. Embassy.
After the Iranian Revolution, the Embassy and its property in Washington were subject to a dispute over ownership. The new Khomeini government refused to recognize American property in Iran, but insisted that the Iranian Embassy in Washington and its contents belonged to the new leadership. Invoking the 1982 Foreign Missions Act that gives the State Department custody over such foreign-owned embassy properties, the State Department offered the former Imperial properties at an auction in December of 1986. (cf. Perl, Peter, "Iranian Embassy Finery on Auction Block This Weekend," The Washington Post, 7 December, 1983.)