• The Ismail Merchant Collection auction at Christies

    Sale 5980

    The Ismail Merchant Collection

    7 October 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 31

    'THE GOLDEN BOWL' (2001)
    A GROUP OF SIX BENGALI PLASTER FIGURES
    MID-19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    'THE GOLDEN BOWL' (2001)
    A GROUP OF SIX BENGALI PLASTER FIGURES
    MID-19TH CENTURY
    Of trades and occupations, the bodies plaster and clothes made of linen and cloth, on circular wood bases
    The tallest: 8 in. (20 cm.) high (6)


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    Made by native craftsmen in Bengal, an area where figurative modelling flourished from the early 18th century, these naturalistically modelled figures are representative of those employed by European colonials. Commissioned groups of figures depicting types of occupation or caste were a common cultural expression of a more widespread imperial endeavour to classify the Indian people, and, as well as being obtained as souvenirs, they were often acquired by museums for educational purposes.(See Below Stairs Exhibition Catalogue, London, 2003, p.148.)
    These figures appeared in 'The Golden Bowl' (2001) and were in the 'Indian Corner' of the London flat of the Assinghams, played by Angelica Huston and James Fox.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    The Merchant Ivory Production 'The Golden Bowl' (2001).