A portrait of Muzaffar al-Din Shah Qajar (reg. 1896-1907) Persia, signed by Mehdi, perhaps the Royal Painter, late 19th/early 20th Century

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Lot 38R
A portrait of Muzaffar al-Din Shah Qajar (reg. 1896-1907)
Persia, signed by Mehdi, perhaps the Royal Painter, late 19th/early 20th Century

Sold for £ 8,287 (US$ 11,574) inc. premium
A portrait of Muzaffar al-Din Shah Qajar (reg. 1896-1907)
Persia, signed by Mehdi, perhaps the Royal Painter, late 19th/early 20th Century
oil on canvas, in a painted oval, signed in nasta'liq script in red at lower right of oval, further inscription in white at lower centre
70 x 60 cm.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Private European collection.

    The caption at the bottom reads: timthal-e moobarak-e a'lahazrat-e aqdas-e homatuyn shahanshah muzaffar al-din shah qajar, 'The blessed portrait of His Majesty, the most sacred, the august King of Kings Muzaffar al-Din Shah Qajar'.

    The signature reads: jan nether mehdi naqqash-e makhsus, 'The devoted Mehdi, the Royal painter'.

    The best-known painter by the name of Mehdi is recorded as a portrait painter of the Qajar period working in oil, water-colours and siyah qalam. From his recorded work it is understood that he was the Chief Painter (naqqash-bashi) during the later part of the reign of Nasir al-Din Shah and was the Royal painter (naqqash-makhsus) under Muzaffar al-Din Shah, from whom he received the title Musawwir al-Mulk in AH 1314/AD 1896-97. His recorded works are dated between AH 1309/AD 1891-92 and AH 1322/AD 1904-05, many in the Gulistan Palace in Tehran. (See M. A. Karimzadeh Tabrizi, The Lives & Art of Old Painters of Iran, vol. 3, London 1991, pp. 1247-51).

    His recorded work uses the expression 'Devoted' (jan nether) between AH 1309/AD 1891-92 and AH 1313/AD 1895-96, and the expression 'Royal painter' (naqqash-e makhsus) in AH 1313/AD 1895-96. if this is the same Mehdi, then it is possible that this portrait was painted in AH 1313, before he acquired the title Musawwir al-Mulk in AH 1314/AD 1896-97. However, the Shah is depicted as a much younger man, resembling his appearance in photographs of the 1870s.

    Important Notice to Buyers
    Some countries e.g., the US, prohibit or restrict the purchase by its citizens (wherever located) and/or the import of certain types of Iranian-origin works. As a convenience to buyers, Bonhams has marked with the symbol R all lots of Iranian (Persian) origin. It is each buyer's responsibility to ensure that they do not bid or import a lot in contravention of the sanctions or trade embargoes that apply to them.
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