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Portrait of Amir Dost Muhammed Khan. Patna, Anglo-Indian or 'Company School' circa 1840. Gouache and gold on ivory. 10.2 x 7.8cm

Amir Dost Muhammad Khan ruler of Afghanistan from 1826 forged an alliance with the British when they feared a Russian invasion of India via Afghanistan. He was expecting to benefit from this by the British helping him to regain Peshawar which the Sikhs had siezed in 1834. When they failed to help he turned instead to the Russians, causing the British to depose and replace him with their puppet Shah Shuja with disastrous results resulting in the British restoring him to the throne before abandoning their plans to expand into the region, backing down to the extent of eventually agreeing to a treaty in 1855.

Inventory LC 000055

 

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Images and text © Peter Blohm