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"City and Fortress of Cabul" watercolor and ink drawing, 1846

 Item — Folder: 2016-042

Scope and Contents

A circa 1845 ink and watercolor drawing on paper for the lithograph plate "City and Fortress of Cabul" in Sir Robert Sale's "The Defence of Jellalabad" (London, lith. By W.L. Walton, ca. 1846). The view shows Afghani soldiers camping under the massive walls of the ancient Bala Hissar fortress, with Kabul city and River in the background. The soldiers are having a rest, talking leisurely at a camp fire, with a camel laying nearby and two soldiers on guard looking over the approaches to the Kabul River. The drawing is heightened in white and approximately 28x38.5 cm / 11x15 inches in size.

The following information about Sir Robert Sale was provided by the seller: "Major General Sir Robert Henry Sale (GCB) commanded the 1st Bengal Brigade during the advance on Kandahar, took part in the march to Kabul and led one of the storming columns at Ghazni in July 1839 during the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839-1842). For his services Sale was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) and received the local rank of major-general. He was mostly noted for a defense of the Jalalabad fortress where he was besieged by the Afghan troops for half a year (November 1841 - April 1842). He then participated in General Pollock's advance to Kabul in order to relieve the British citizens, including Sale's wife and daughter. Sale was promoted to Knight Grand Cross (GCB) and to mark his leadership during the siege salutes were fired at every cantonment in India; later he also received official gratitude of the British Parliament."


  • 1846

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the Nebraska Public Records Statutes (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 84-712 through 84-712.09), and other relevant regulations. Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Nebraska Omaha assumes no responsibility.


0.2 Cubic Feet (1 folder) : Drawings

Language of Materials


Custodial History

This is one of two artworks purchased together from the Wayfarer’s Bookshop on 2/29/16:

Unsigned Watercolour View of Kabul, Afghanistan, with the Hindu Kush Mountains in the background, Titled on Verso: Caubul. Sale price: $650.00 (no catalog item number)

Original Unsigned Ink and Watercolour Drawing for the lithograph plate "City and Fortress of Cabul" published in Sir Robert Henry Sale's "Defence of Jellalabad", ca. 1846. Sale price: $3,750. Catalog item number: 1111

Physical Description

Dimensions: 28x38.5 cm / 11x15 inches

Processing Information

The 1846 watercolor and ink drawing of Kabul for the lithograph plate "City and Fortress of Cabul" was attached to a recent matte with "magic"/"invisible"/Scotch tape and photo corners when received. The watercolor was removed from its accompanying matte when it was accessioned.

A digital copy of this image was made available online in July 2019.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Archives & Special Collections Repository

Archives & Special Collections
Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library
6001 Dodge St.
Omaha Nebraska 68182-0237 United States