The distinctive mount with a broad band of naturalistic flowers between two narrow borders with stylized floral motifs, and particularly the colouring, indicate that this folio comes from the Polier Album. Antoine Louis Henri Polier, born in Lausanne 1741, entered the service of the British East India Company in 1757. Because of his Swiss nationality, he was never promoted beyond the rank of Captain. He resigned in 1776, and with the help of Hastings entered the service of the Nawabs of Oudh, Shuja and Asaf ud-Dawla as architect and engineer. He then served the Mughal Emperor at Delhi in a military command and was later appointed Lieutenant Colonel by Hastings, with permission to reside in Lucknow (C. E. Buckland Dictionary of Indian Biography, New York, 1906, p.339). A painting of Polier was sold in these Rooms, 23 September 2005, lot 47. Polier was an enthusiastic collector and indeed patron of the arts - he prinicipally favoured the artist Mihr Chand who was largely responsible for arranging the layout and decoration of the albums made for his collection of paintings. After his return to Europe in 1789, Polier sold most of his albums to the collector William Beckford, where they found their way to Hamilton Palace, and thereafter Berlin where a number are now in the Museum für Islamische Kunst (two folios are published in J. Losty, After the Great Mughals Mumbai, 2002, pp.43 and 46).
Husayn 'Ali Khan Sayyid Amir al Umara, depicted here, was the Governor of Ranthambhor, in the region of 'Alamgir. He was one of the two Sayyid brothers of Barha, who were powerful-king makers in the early 18th century Mughal India.