AN ALBUM PAGE
AN ALBUM PAGE

PORTRAIT 17TH/EARLY 18TH CENTURY, CALLIGRAPHY SIGNED MIR 'ALIKHAN JAWAHIR NAQQASH BASHI, DATED 8TH REIGNAL YEAR (OF AURANGZEB ?)

Details
AN ALBUM PAGE
PORTRAIT 17TH/EARLY 18TH CENTURY, CALLIGRAPHY SIGNED MIR 'ALIKHAN JAWAHIR NAQQASH BASHI, DATED 8TH REIGNAL YEAR (OF AURANGZEB ?)
Opaque pigments and gold on paper, the portrait depicting a nobleman standing, facing left, his left hand resting on his sword, on green repainted background, laid down between gold-ruled salmon borders, the margins stamped with Chinese style figures in an exotic landscape, over painted in shades of purple, orange and green, the reverse with a calligraphic panel with 6ll. of elegant black nasta'liq script in cloud bands on gold ground, four lines written diagonally, signed along the left hand side border, with probably added date of AH 1131, laid down between gold-ruled blue borders, the stamped margins with fine European-style foliage reserved against a light brown ground
Portrait 7¼ x 3 7/8in. (18.3 x 9.8cm.); calligraphy 10¾ x 4 1/8in. (27.3 x 10.6cm.); page 17 1/8 x 11 1/8in. (43.6 x 28.4cm.)

Lot Essay

The album from which this page comes from is particularly interesting for its use of embossed, block-printed and hand-coloured margins made of possibly Chinese paper. It is decorated with exotic scenes that combine Christian saints, palm trees, Chinese pagodas, tiled roofed houses, and figures in long robes and pointed Chinese hats.

The album was possibly assembled in eighteenth-century Hyderabad and seems to have contained portraits of both local and Mughal notables. The added date of AH 1131/1718-9 AD on the calligraphic panel could well be the year when the album was assembled. This is also the date which appears on a calligraphic panel by Haydar Beg known as Rawshanqalam on a page in the Virginia Museum. Other pages which belonged to the same album are in the Los Angeles Museum of Art, in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, in the San Diego Museum of art, in the National Gallery of Canada and in the Virginia Museum (Pratapaditya Pal, Indian Painting, Los Angeles, 1993, cat.99 and 110, p.326-7 and 348-9, Som Prakash Verma, ed., Flora and Fauna in Mughal Art, Mumbay, 1999, fig.8, p.76, and Joseph M. Dye III, The Arts of India, 2001, cat.158, p.363-5).

Two calligraphic panels in the British Museum are signed Mir 'Ali Khan Javahir Raqam-i Thani, probably the same scribe who copied the present calligraphic panel (1974,0617,0.21.16 and 1974,0617,0.21.48)

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