Portrait of the 18th-19th century ruler and Rahmah bin Jaber
19th century
Object Name: Portrait of Rahmah bin Jaber
Period: 19th century
Date: 1819
Provenance: United Kingdom
Dimensions: 17.7cm x 14.7cm
Medium: paper
Registration Number: QNM.D.2017.44
Place Of Discovery/Findspot:  Qatar
Portrait of Rahmah ibn Jabir al-Jalahimah. inscribed 'Rahma Ibn Jabba from a likeness taken in 1819' in the Lower margin. pen and ink and watercolour on paper. Together with a contemporary newspaper obituary of the sitter and a portrait of an Arab prince signed 'G.J.Graham', in a common frame
Rahmah bin Jaber bin Adhbi Al Jalahima was a fearless pirate and ruler known for his courage and intelligence. Born to the Al Utub tribe in Al Quarin (Kuwait) in 1757, his father moved the family to Al Zubarah in Qatar in 1760. As a young man, Rahmah led his people to Ruwais following a disagreement with Al Khalifa when they took Bahrain. Later, Rahmah established his headquarters at Khor Hassan in northern Qatar.

Rahmah would forge alliances with different powers to best suit his interests. In 1809, he allied with the First Saudi State and became ruler of Dammam, supporting the Saudis in the Battle of Khkekrah against Bahrain. When the First Saudi State weakened, he allied with the Imam of Muscat, and later with the rulers of Persia. Rahmah maintained diplomatic relations with the British authorities in the Gulf but refused to sign treaties with them. Rahmah was killed in 1826, aged 69, when his ship exploded in a battle against Al Khalifa.
The Emergence Of Qatar By Rahman, 2005, London The Holy Sail