A Farsi inscription in ink on the back of the plaque reads "A souvenir of the Eghbal'od Dowleh," a high official title or name in the Persian Empire during the Qajar period. The officer mentioned on the paper label could be Captain Griffith Jenkins, I(ndian) N(avy), a native of Penrallt, Cardiganshire. He was captain of the flag-ship of the fleet engaged in the Persian Gulf conflict in the 1850s (Cambrian Journal, vol. 4, 1857, p. 73). The monuments of Nineveh were excavated by Sir Austen Henry Layard in the 1840s.
After sundry minor clashes serious war broke out between Assyria and Elam in the mid-7th century; Assyria invaded Elam and eventually captured the twin Elamite capitals of Madaktu and Susa, and installed what they thought was a pro-Assyrian member of the Elamite royal house as king, Te-Umman. But this was a mistaken hope, and he allied himself with the Chaldaean tribes and also involved Shamash-shum-ukin, king of Babylon and no other than Ashurbanipal's brother. War was then renewed, against both Elam and Babylon, the latter defeated first and Shamash-shum-ukin finishing himself off in flames. Assyrians marched against Susa, devastated the whole of Elam, and violated the tombs of the Elamite kings; Te-Umman fled to the mountains but later returned to his other capital Madaktu, Susa now being desolate. The major battle of Til-Tuba followed and Te-Umman was killed and the Elamites finished off in circa 643 B.C. Ashurbanipal celebrated these important victories, both over the Elamites and the Babylonians under his faithless brother, extensively in his own North Palace on Kuyunjik the capital mound of Ninevah –R.D. Barnett, Sculptures from the North Palace of Ashurbanipal at Ninevah, London, 1976, including pp. 28-33: "Notes on the architectural remains," by G. Turner).
We are grateful to Geoffrey Turner for his help in cataloging this lot.
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