An album of sixty paintings on mica depicting processions, ceremonies and various tradesmen and servants Patna, circa 1830
Lot 348
An album of sixty paintings on mica depicting processions, ceremonies and various tradesmen and servants Patna, circa 1830
Sold for £11,400 (US$ 18,614) inc. premium

Lot Details
An album of sixty paintings on mica depicting processions, ceremonies and various tradesmen and servants
Patna, circa 1830
gouache on mica, sixty paintings in card mounts, eight larger scenes, the remainder smaller, several loose cards (some with an embossed stamp bearing the motto Resolve Well, Persevere) with English identifying inscriptions and comments in pencil, contemporary half morocco, worn
largest painting 185 x 235 mm.; others 120 x 150 mm. and slightly smaller; album 370 x 460 mm.

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Private UK collection: the present owner's paternal grandmother (b. 1881) was married to a Major in the Indian Army, himself born in Poona; and thence by descent.

    An interesting and varied selection of paintings, with a number of unusually large size, and in very good condition. Both the larger scenes and the portrayals of individual servants and tradespeople possess a great deal of charm, as well as documentary interest, and demonstrate the artist's facility with the composition of a picture and the effective juxtaposition of colours.

    The scenes depicted include:
    A Muharram procession, towing a model of the tomb of Husain or Hassan.
    A procession carrying images of Ganesh, Hanuman and Kali.
    A crowd watching a funeral pyre with a woman about to commit sati.
    A wedding, with the groom about to be introduced to his bride, concealed behind a sheet.
    The hook-swinging festival (charak puja), in honour of the goddess Mari-amma.
    A large crowd, some flying kites.
    Various scenes of princes and ladies being carried in litters and palanquins.
    Individual celebrants of religious processions.
    Various tradespeople, including a kite-seller.
    Household servants of all ranks, from a groom to a butler.

    For a discussion of painting on mica, see M. Archer, Company Paintings: Indian Paintings of the British Period, London 1992, pp. 193-94.
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