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Shah Shuja Dhurrani. Anglo-Indian school, Punjab, circa mid-19th century. Opaque watercolour on paper. 21 x 17.4cm
Also known as Shah Shujah, Shoja Shah, Shujah al-Mulk
The purple jacket with fur trimmings matches those worn in paintings in Christie's Arts of India, 27.9.2001, lot36: Quar Nunihal Singh (Raja Nau Nihal Singh), 1840/50; Sotheby's Fine Indian and Persian Miniatures, 25.3.1987, lot 177: Sadar Hari Singh Nalwah, circa 1840.
Shah Shuja (1786-1842), a Sardozai Pashtun, ruled Afghanistan from 1803 to 1809, when he made an alliance with the British in order ro resist the planned invasion of the Russian army. However in the same year he was deposed by his predeccessor and went into exile in India where he was captured and imprisoned then tahken to Kashmir. . When the Sikh army invaded there he chose to leave with them and went to Lahore where he stayed from 1813-1814, exchanging the Koh-i-Nur diamond with Ranjit Singh in return for his freedom. In 1833 in an alliance with Ranjit Singh he promised the Sikhs Peshawar so that he might secure Kandahar. Although the Sikh army gained Peshawar, his failed to secure Kandahar. In 1838 he promised open trade routes to the British for their help regaining the throne. Combining with the forces of the British and Sikh armies the first Anglo-Afghan war was triggered and Dost Mohammad deposed with Shah Shuja restored to the throne, albeit as a puppet to the British. Soon after the British withdrew and he was assassinated in 1842.
Often I will receive requests from website visitors, customers and friends to show paintings from my private collection. I hadn't uploaded any onto this website for many years, until June 1st 2013. I prefer to think of this painting as a part of my own collection instead of as an item of stock. It is not priced but since I can't hold on to every painting that I'd like to, it is open to offers.
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Images and text © Peter Blohm