21 September 2000
William Prinsep (1794-1874)
A fancy dress ball at Mrs Casement's, Calcutta
inscribed 'A fancy dress ball at Mrs Casements, myself (W.P.) the Chinaman.' (lower left) and further inscribed with the names of the other guests 'Mrs Paton/old R A Winter/Archie/Lady Casement/Cap Gilespie/WP/MP/.../.../Mrs Longeville/...'
pencil, pen and black and brown ink
9¼ x 131/8 in. (23.5 x 33.3 cm.)
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P. Pal and V. Dehejia, From Merchants to Emperors, London, 1986, p. 69, pl. 60.
This drawing is similar in size and medium to a sketchbook drawing in the India Office Library of Mrs. Casement's celebrated party of 14 February 1823. Fancy dress balls were a popular form of amusement amongst the Anglo-Indian community and Prinsep has drawn himself dressed as a Chinaman.
William Prinsep was part of a large family of artists who worked in India. He was the fifth son of John Prinsep and brother of Thomas Prinsep (see lot 240). He arrived in Calcutta in 1817 and became a pupil of George Chinnery (1774-1852).
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