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René Davy de Chavigné de Balloy 
[Tehran under the snow, Persia] 
Bonhams - London 
29 March 2022, Islamic and Indian Art, Lot: 128 
René Davy de Chavigné de Balloy was born on 7 April 1845 at Marolles-sur-Seine and died on 1 June 1923 at Saint-Viâtre. He graduated with a law degree from university in 1864 and made his career at the French foreign ministry. He was attaché at the legation in Brussels (1865-1868), attaché in Berlin (1868-1871) and Third Class Secretary in Peking (1871-1873). He was then stationed in Tehran as Third Class Secretary (1873-1874), Second Class Secretary (1874-1875), and Charge d'Affaires (1875-1876), after which he was appointed First Class Secretary in Tokyo (1877-1881). He then returned to Persia as Minister Plenipotentiary from 1881 to 1897, after which he retired. He was the longest serving French envoy to Persia. During his long tenure in Persia he developed a close relationship with Nasr al-Din Shah, Mozaffar al-Din Shah, and many members of the Persian aristocracy. His passion and interest for photography was something that he shared with both rulers and he procured for them the latest photographic equipment. One of his most important accomplishments in Persia was to obtain a concession from Nasr al-Din Shah in 1895, giving France a monopoly on all archaeological explorations in Persia. He was raised to the rank of Chevalier de Légion d'Honneur in 1875 and Officier de la Légion d'Honneur in 1885. 

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