Dost Mahommed, King of Caubul, and his youngest son
Artist: James Rattray (1818-1854)
Medium: Lithograph, coloured
This is lithograph is taken from plate 2 of 'Afghaunistan' by Lieutenant James Rattray.
Rattray was in the Bengal Army and took part in the first Afghan War, from 1839 to 1842. This conflict saw Dost Mohammed deposed as Emir of Afghanistan. Rattray was granted an audience with the Emir in Peshawar in January 1841. At this time, Dost Mohammed was a prisoner of state and on his way to exile in Calcutta.
Rattray was struck by the Emir's deep voice, open manner and intelligent countenance, and by his followers with their finely chiselled features and tall, handsome figures. The young boy with his head shaven in the manner "peculiar to the rosy-cheeked children of Caubul" was the Emir's son from his youngest wife. Rattray wrote that since Dost Mohammed had been "a ruler just and merciful and attentive to affairs of state ... the population of Peshawur considered him to be most unjustly treated by us." The decorations of this apartment were a facsimile of the Emir's former audience hall in the citadel of Ghazni.