Twenty-nine Qajar watercolours Persia, mid-19th Century(29)

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Lot 59
A group of thirty watercolours depicting tradespeople, ladies, clerics and officials
Qajar Persia, mid-19th Century
(30)

£ 4,000 - 6,000
US$ 5,300 - 8,000
A group of thirty watercolours depicting tradespeople, ladies, clerics and officials
Qajar Persia, mid-19th Century
watercolours on paper, laid down on card with margin rules in gold, each with identifying inscription in lower border in nasta'liq script, unframed
images 155 x 110 mm.; pages 230 x 165 mm.(30)

Footnotes

  • These watercolours, which are a fascinating record of everyday life in 19th Century Persia, were originally in an album depicting traders and other types. Not only are the figures very obviously painted from the life, but the captions include often cynical comments about those depicted, clearly reflecting local gossip.

    The figures and captions are as follows:

    Ladies:
    1. Nisa Baygum wife of Haji Hasan Tehrani (spinning cotton).
    2. Gawhar Sultan Khanum made up fully, sitting on a chair, waiting for Nana Karbala'i to bring her news of [the party at] Buyuk Khan Kurd.
    3. Nana Karbala'i coming in with the invitation and a bag of money from Buyuk Khan Kurd.
    4. Bilqis Khanum invited to the house of Buyuk Khan Kurd, covering her mouth in fear of the police and about to take divination as to whether to go or not.
    5. Nuri Jan Khanum, daughter-in-law of Nisa Baygum Khanum and wife of Haji Muhammad Ja'far, nursing a baby.
    6. Zivar Khanum going to Imamzadeh Zayd for hena-bandan (the ceremony on the night before a wedding).
    7. Tuba Khanum who is fond of the son of the coffee-shop owner but pretends she does not know what people are talking about.
    8. The lady taking her children outside Dulab Gate for the feast of 13 days after Naw Ruz, in company with another woman.

    Traders:
    9. Mashhadi Salih Hamadani, water carrier who does not give water to anyone, even on the point of their death from thirst, without being paid.
    10. 'Amu Qurban the dizi [a dish] cook, collecting the vessels from his previous sales, carrying a bag on his back and pots in his hand.
    11. Shaykh 'Abd al-Rahman known as Qur'ani in whose divinations from the Qur'an ladies have faith.
    12. Aqa Ja'far deputy to the Courier Office, with crown and mace, looking with passion at Zivar Khanum.
    13. Taqi working at the coffee shop, carrying a teapot and glass, wondering how he can afford a present for his lady with his low pay.
    14. 'Amu Zaynal selling wild herbs.
    15. Mashhadi Ghazanfar, the seller of [...] of sheep who does not accept anyone's weights and measures except his own wooden measuring cup (man holding a jar and stick).
    16. Mashhadi Ramazan, barberry-juice seller (holding a glass vessel half covered with flax).
    17. Ustad (master) Sha'ban'ali, hat maker who when asked for the price says no less than two tuman.
    18. Mashhadi Sattar Mamaqani, the seller of tea made with the root of Orchis mascula.
    19. Karim the book binder, burnishing paper.
    20. Kaykhusraw gardener of the Saltant-Abad Garden, with short sickle and foliage.
    21. Karbala'i Baqir Shahmirzadi who sells [...] in winter and broad beans in the summer, and who the rest of the time is the attendant at Nadir Khan Bath house.
    22. Halu Murad, the man who carries material on a building site.
    23. Husayn Felfeli the yoghurt maker, carrying his yoghurt in a large bowl on his head and carrying one in his hands.
    24. The child letting his bird out of its cage, unaware of the cat behind him.
    25. Karbala'i Rahmanquli, bird seller, selling chickens at 6 'abbasi and cocks for 7 'abbasi.

    Others:
    26. Akhund Mulla Nazar 'Ali who has persuaded Baji Sakina to marry him for a month and pay her 3 thousand afterwards (sitting and writing with the woman watching).
    27. A beggar has come to ask the akhund (a cleric) for food.
    28. Mulla Fazli Borujerdi, with his long staff, who is blind but turns up every where including evenings in Shemiran Avenue.
    29. The man who is returning from the congregational prayer and going in a hurry to Khazin al-Mulk Mosque (A man holding his face and a stick with a boy with him).
    30. Mulla 'Abd al-Qadir the reciter of the Qur'an who says what he has in front of him is just enough for one night and tells those in need that they should ask God for food (the man sitting with lots of food in front of him).
Twenty-nine Qajar watercolours Persia, mid-19th Century(29)
Twenty-nine Qajar watercolours Persia, mid-19th Century(29)
Twenty-nine Qajar watercolours Persia, mid-19th Century(29)
Twenty-nine Qajar watercolours Persia, mid-19th Century(29)
Twenty-nine Qajar watercolours Persia, mid-19th Century(29)
Twenty-nine Qajar watercolours Persia, mid-19th Century(29)
Twenty-nine Qajar watercolours Persia, mid-19th Century(29)
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