Mir Mahboob Ali Khan (1866, r. 1869-1911)
Nizam of Hyderabad
Albumen print on carte-de-visite, c. 1875
Size: 4 x 2.5 in. (10.2 x 6.4 cm)
Inscription: HH the Nizam of the Deccan
Asaf Jah VI Sir Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Siddiqi Bayafandi was the 6th Nizam of Hyderabad. He was the only son of Afzal-ud-Daula Bahadur (Asaf Jah V), who passed away when Khan was around two and a half years old. Thus, on 29th February 1869, he ascended the throne under the regency of Diwan Salar Jung I and Shams-ul- Umra III, and served as regent who co-regent respectively.
Khan was the first Nizam to be exposed to western education and imbibe the customs and manners of the elite English society. A special school under the guidance of Captain Claude Clerk was setup in the Chowmahalla Palace for him. He established the first medical college of India in Hyderabad and was first in the world to have commissioned chloroform. In 1979, a railway company fully owned by the Nizams was formed to connect Hyderabad State with the rest of British India, and was head-quartered at Secunderabad Railway Station.
In this image we can see Khan as a confident young boy who at age less than ten knew the value of a pen and a sword. The standing image of Khan portrays a ruler who is alert, vigilant and ready to take action. We see him resting his elbow on a table where books lay, as he fashions a traditional sword on his attire.