Two Persian embroidered cloth standards (2)
Lot 143
Two Qajar Resht silk embroidered wool Standards made for Nawab Mansur 'Ali Khan of Bengal (r. 1838-81) Persia, circa 1840 (2)
£7,000 - 10,000
US$ 12,000 - 17,000
Auction Details
Two Persian embroidered cloth standards (2)
Lot Details
Two Qajar Resht silk embroidered wool Standards made for Nawab Mansur 'Ali Khan of Bengal (r. 1838-81)
Persia, circa 1840
each triangular, the central fields with a lion on a floral background, one with inscription on his body and a sun behind, the borders with inscription-filled cartouches flanked by trailing floral vine borders
each approx. 235 x 147 cm.(2)

Footnotes

  • The inscriptions comprise: in the margins, Persian poetry on the Imam Husayn; and on the lion's body, "Order of Muntazim al-Mulk Faridun Jah Sayyid Mansur 'Ali Khan Bahadur"; in the cartouches, verses by the Persian poet Muhtasham Kashani (d. AH 996/ AD 1587-8), who was known for his poetry of Shi'a themes (Rypka, J., History of Iranian Literature, Dordrecht, 1968, p. 298); and in the small cartouches, a repetition of: "O Imam Husayn".

    Standards of this type would have been made for the Day of Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar. It is commemorated by Shi'a Muslims as a day of mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, at Karbala in AH 61.

    Nawab Sayyid Mansur Ali Khan, popularly known as Nawab Nazim Feridun Jah or Janab-e Ali (1830-84) was the Shi'a Nawab Nazim of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa from 1838 until his abdication in 1880, whereupon he was forced to renounce his position and titles in return for the liquidation of his debts and a generous annual pension from the British East India Company, and was given the new title of Nawab of Murshidabad. A Kashmiri Qur'an formerly in the library of Nawab Sayyid Mansur Ali Khan can be found in the present sale (Lot 30).

    A triangular silk banner with the Lion and Sun motif, and dating to the mid 19th Century, can be seen in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (Baker, Patricia, Islamic Textiles, London, 1995, p. 137). The type and decoration compares closely with a royal tent dating to the second quarter of the 19th Century produced in resht work also in the Victoria and Albert Museum (ibid., pp. 138-9). Another standard of this type, probably from this same set, was sold through these rooms (Bonhams, Islamic Works of Art, 2nd May 2001, lot 572).
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