• Indian and Southeast Asian Art auction at Christies

    Sale 2300

    Indian and Southeast Asian Art

    23 March 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 197

    A painting of Raja Balwant Dev Singh on a Tiger Hunt


    Price Realised  


    A painting of Raja Balwant Dev Singh on a Tiger Hunt
    Nainsukh of Guler
    India, Jasrota, circa 1750
    The orange tiger at center left, surrounded by dogs and four horesemen in each corner wielding spears and swords, Raja Balwant Dev Singh seated astride a white horse at right and drawing a bow to bring down the fierce creature, two of his courtiers observing and gesturing to the tiger at lower right, all in a sparse landscape, with the collector's stamp "(Sd.) D. J. Tata" on verso
    Opaque pigments and gold on wasli
    7 7/8 x 16 7/8 in. (20 x 42.9 cm.)

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    A handwritten letter from Sir D.J. Tata to Mr. Radha Krishna Bharany, dated to 21 Dec 1917, has recently come to light in which Sir Tata thanks Bharany for the "(miniatures) of the Kangra and other schools;" see P. Pal, et al., East Meets West, 2010, p. 8-13. Mr. R.K. Bharany was an early dealer in Amritsar who had connections to sources close to several royal collections. It is likely that Sir Tata's collection of Nainsukh paintings came from this source.

    On 14 December 1931 a group of paintings by Nainsukh was offered at a Sotheby's sale in London under "The Property of Sir D. J. Tata," lots 470 to 480. All but four of the works have been traced to known Nainsukh paintings in present-day collections, including lots 474 and 476, both previously sold in these rooms (see Christie's New York, 21 March 2008, lot 507 and 16 March 2008, lot 450). Now yet another lot has been identified. The description of lot 478 -- "An unfinished Drawing of the Rajah on horseback drawing his bow at a tiger which is being cornered by horsemen and dogs" -- combined with the inscriptions, corresponds to the present example.


    Raja Krishna Bharani, New Delhi, India
    Sir Dorab J. Tata, before 1921
    Sotheby's London, 14 December 1931, lot 478
    Private Japanese Collection

    Saleroom Notice

    Please note Mr. Bharany's correct name is Mr. Radha Krishna Bharany, and he lived in Amritsar.

    Pre-Lot Text



    P. Pal, S. Mukherjee, and R. Poddar, eds. East Meets West: A Selection of Asian and European Art from the Tata Collection in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, 2010, p. 12.