A provincial Company School album circa 1850
Lot 339
An album of twenty-six watercolours Company School, Kutch, Western India, circa 1850(14)
Sold for £5,400 (US$ 8,749) inc. premium

Lot Details
An album of twenty-six watercolours
Company School, Kutch, Western India, circa 1850
watercolours on paper, one watermarked '1850', frontispiece with the signature of Stanley Napier Raikes, blind-stamped morocco, three letters dated 1853 from HH Prince Rawajee; four photographs of Kutch princes and the Residency Bungalow, circa 1849; a watercolour of Edur given to Mrs Raikes; a sketch of Edur with a portrait on the reverse; the comet of 1858 shooting over Ahmedabad, pencil sketch with the date '9.9.58'; two miniatures on ivory; a sketch of the Residency at Bhuj
album 290 x 235 mm.(14)

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Lt. Stanley Napier Raikes, and thence by direct descent. Lt. Raikes (who was a relation of Charles Raikes (1812-1885), Supreme Judge at Agra and Commissioner at Lahore, decorated CSI in 1866) was assistant to the Political Agent at Kutch, Sir George Le Grand Jacob (1805-1881). Sir George was a Major-General in the Indian Army and was clearly held in high regard by the ruling Kutch family, as indicated by the letters, anxious about his health, sent by Prince Rawajee, son of Rao Desaljee, to Lt. Raikes. Sir George was also an early transcriber of Asoka inscriptions and was much decorated for his campaigns in India and Persia. In 1871 he published Western India before and during the Mutiny.

    The British had a residency at Kutch from 1819 and were on good terms with the local ruler Rao Desaljee II (r. 1819-1860) and his family. The opening of the Suez Canal and the development of the cotton trade brought wealth to this region of western India, and local artists followed the slightly earlier traditions of Company School painting for their British patrons.

    See: M. Archer, Company Drawings in the India Office Library, London 1972, pp. 236-249, pls. 73 and 74.
    S. C. Welch, Room for Wonder, New York 1978, no. 71.
    M. Archer and T. Falk, India Revealed, London 1989.

    The watercolours are as follows:

    1. A schroff (money-changer) attached to the Kutch political residency, English inscription in pencil at bottom.
    2. A portrait of HH Rao Desaljee II, English inscription with the date 1854, embossed border.
    3. An officer of HH Rao Desaljee II, English inscription in pencil at bottom.
    4. Two retainers, English inscription in pencil at bottom.
    5. An officer, English inscription in pencil at bottom.
    6. A musician.
    7. The silver stick at the Kutch political residency, English inscription in pencil at bottom.
    8. A Brahmin, English inscription in pencil at bottom.
    9. Potters making water pots.
    10. An officer, English inscription of identification in pencil at bottom, embossed border.
    11. A traveller.
    12. An officer, English inscription.
    13. An officer, English inscription.
    14. Two faqirs smoking bhang.
    15. A Kutch prince, nagari inscription at bottom.
    16. A woman spinning cotton.
    17. A bow-maker.
    18. Arab retainers at the Kutch court, English inscription in pencil with the date 1852.
    19. Mendicants.
    20. Prince Ballooka, son of HH Rao Desaljee II, with attendants, English inscriptions in pencil with the date 1854.
    21. An officer.
    22. Maharaja Jawan Singh of Edur, son-in-law to Rao Desaljee II, English inscription of identification in pencil at bottom, embossed border.
    23. An officer at Kutch, English inscription of identification in pencil with the date 1854.
    24. The political agency bungalow at Kutch, sketch signed 'E. M. R.', with the date '28th Dec. 18..'
    25. View of Edur by a European artist, English inscription on reverse, 'Mrs Raikes with Mr Lewis' compliments'.
    26. A view of an English country house by an English artist, sketch on paper, English inscription at bottom with the date 1855.
    27. A portrait of HH Rao Desaljee II, pencil inscription of identification at bottom.
    28. A dancing girl with two musicians, English inscription at bottom.
    29. A dancing girl with two musicians, English inscription at bottom.
    30. The political agency bungalow at Kutch, by a European artist.
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