An album page depicting a stylized vase of naturalistic flowers with a grasshopper and moths alighting on leaves, glass and metal vessels in the foreground flanked by two ducks and irises, attributed to the artist Muhammad Hasan The Deccan Sultanates, probably Bijapur, circa 1630-40
Lot 236
A découpé album page depicting a stylised vase of naturalistic flowers with a grasshopper and moths alighting on leaves, glass and metal vessels in the foreground flanked by two ducks and irises, attributed to the artist Muhammad Hasan The Deccan Sultanates, probably Bijapur, circa 1630-40
Sold for £42,000 (US$ 69,435) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
A découpé album page depicting a stylised vase of naturalistic flowers with a grasshopper and moths alighting on leaves, glass and metal vessels in the foreground flanked by two ducks and irises, attributed to the artist Muhammad Hasan
The Deccan Sultanates, probably Bijapur, circa 1630-40
découpé and appliqué drawing of white, pink, blue, brown and gold paper on a black ground, slightly trimmed and faded otherwise in good condition, inner margins ruled in colours and gold, outer borders of pink paper, in mount, original backboards with stamp of the dealer E. Beghian, pasted label of the International Exhibition of Persian Art, London 1931, chalked numbers corresponding to pieces lent by Beghian
200 x 100 mm.; album page 312 x 200 mm.

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Private UK collection: inherited by the present owner circa 1980.

    See note to previous lot regarding the dealer E. Beghian.

    The fashion for découpé and appliqué work began in Timurid Persia in the 15th century and was mainly confined to album pages of calligraphy. However, it reached its climax in Ottoman Turkey in the second half of the 16th century and was to last until the 18th, when découpé gardens, flowers, animals and birds began to be included in albums. The close cultural and commercial ties between Persia, Turkey and the Deccan can be seen in the architecture, metalwork, carpets, the arts of the book and miniature paintings in Bijapur in the 17th century. Although Persian and Turkish influence can be observed in this album page of découpage, it has been attributed to the Deccan for several reasons.

    The naturalistic treatment of the irises, the grass and the ducks in the foreground, and the placement of the blades of grass in the neck of the vase points to the Deccan rather than Persia and Turkey. The shape of the vase is directly taken from that of the Deccani pilgrim flask with its voluted terminals, and the gilt paper lappet of trefoil form which indicates the junction of the neck and body. Stylized vase drawings can be seen in abundance in Deccani miniature paintings and in the decoration of palaces, mosques and other public buildings. There is a striking resemblance between this vase drawing and one made of gesso depicted in a panel adorning the mihrab of the Jami Masjid at Bijapur which is dated 1635 (see catalogue illustration; and see also K. Robbins & J. Mcleod, African Elites of India–Habshi Amarat, India 2006, p. 101, no. 85). Another comparable vase can be found in a mosaic panel in the Badshahi Ashurkhana at Hyderabad, datable to 1611, and finally to a vase with arabesques in painted plasterwork, Asar Mahal, Bijapur, 17th Century (see G. Michell and M. Zebrowski, Architecture and Art of the Deccan Sultanates, Cambridge 1999, figs. 12 and 15 (Badshahi Ashurkhana)).

    The glass wine flask and goblets are very similar to those depicted in a miniature of a garden gathering with a prince in a green jama, by Bichitr, Mughal, circa 1630, from the Minto Album in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin (see E. Wright, Murraqqa': Imperial Mughal Albums from the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Alexandria, Virginia 2008, pp. 319-20, no. 43). Another similar glass wine flask and goblets appear beside the Emperor Jahangir (reigned 1605-27) in the large, life-size painting dated 1617, offered in this sale (lot 322). Because of the delicate and fragile nature of such découpé work and the harsh Indian climate, it is almost impossible for such pieces to have survived, therefore making these two album pages extremely rare.
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