Hajji Muzaffar of Isfahan The Call to Prayer, 1930 76 x 35cm.  exhibited at the 1931 International P
Lot 50
A large painting entitled The Call to Prayer, depicting scenes of city life, signed by Hajji Mirza Husain al-Mussavar al-Maleki Persia, Isfahan, dated AH 1349/AD 1930
Sold for £38,400 (US$ 63,914) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
A large painting entitled The Call to Prayer, depicting scenes of city life, signed by Hajji Mirza Husain al-Mussavar al-Maleki
Persia, Isfahan, dated AH 1349/AD 1930
watercolour with use of gold on paper, in good condition, outer border richly decorated with arabesques and floral motifs in colours and gold, inscribed lower centre raqam-i Hajji Mirza Husain al-Mussavar al-Maleki, Isfahan, 1349, framed
546 x 807 mm.

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    H. A. Whishaw and thence by descent: acquired directly from the artist in 1930.

    Exhibited:
    The International Exhibition of Persian Art, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 7th January to 7th March 1931.

    Literature:
    Catalogue of the exhibition, no. 756, Gallery XI, p. 303: 'Picture. Painted in miniature style. Scenes of city life. 'The Call to prayer'. By Hajji Muzaffar of Isfahan, 1930.'

    The Call to Prayer was displayed for the first time at the exhibition in 1931, to the right of the vestibule. The event was under the patronage of George V and Reza Shah Pahlavi. Queen Mary visited and was particularly struck by The Call to Prayer and wanted to buy it. Whishaw was unwilling to part with the work and after lengthy correspondence it was agreed that Mussavar should be contacted and should produce a replica. The present lot was taken back to Isfahan and the new work was produced. It is believed that in 1965 the replica was in the royal collection left by Queen Mary, though it has not been possible to verify this or to recover the correspondence relating to the matter.

    Hajji Mussavar was well known for producing extremely good copies of earlier Persian paintings. Whishaw, who was employed by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, met Mussavar in the bazaar in Isfahan and persuaded him to produce instead an original work. The two thought a good deal about an appropriate subject and hit on a scene of city life.
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