H. H. Princess ASHRAF PAHLAVI, Twin Sister of Iran’s Last Shah. Original portait photograph by Blackstone Studios. New York, mid 1940s.
Image size 26.5 by 19.0 cm, wide margins, signed Blackstone, NY and by the sitter in Farsi and ink I give my own picture as a memo to my dearest Ghamar. Signed by Ashraf Pahlavi. 12 October 1947 London.
This high-quality portrait photograph (silver print?) of Ashraf was produced by the leading photography studio of the period in New York City. 'Ashraf Pahlavi, the twin sister of the last shah of Iran, known equally for her work with the United Nations on behalf of women’s causes and her opulent lifestyle … was a glamorous and divisive figure. As a teenager in 1934, she and her older sister, Shams, along with their mother, appeared at a public ceremony not wearing the veils that were a part of traditional dress in Iran … She used her privileged position as a princess to plead the cause of women in a variety of ways, most visibly as the president of the Organization of Iranian Women, the chairwoman of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the Iranian delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and an adviser to the World Conference on Women in 1975' (New York Times obituary, January 8, 2016). - A Google image search did not come up with this portrait.