Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Ayub’s Ambassadors from Herat, 1881

This photograph of the ambassadors appointed by Ghazi Mohammad Ayūb Khān (1857–1914) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Ayūb Khān was the son of the deposed Afghan amir, Sher ʻAlī Khān (1825–79), and cousin of the future amir, Abd al-Raḥmān Khān (1844–1901). He won a significant Afghan victory at the Battle of Maiwand in July 1880, only to be decisively defeated by Sir Frederick Roberts (1832–1914) at the Battle of Kandahar two months later. He retreated to Herat in western Afghanistan and from there fought his cousin, militarily and diplomatically, for control of the country. Ayūb controlled Herat during and after the war. All the men in this picture wear long knee-length coats called chapans and some hold swords. The figures seated in the front are Umrjan Sahib Zadeh in the center, and Ayub’s vizier Abdullah Khan, seated on the left with his son on the right.

Source: Library of Congress