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Simon Ray Limited

India (Murshidabad), circa 1760-1770
Height: 35 cm
Width: 25 cm

Opaque watercolour heightened with gold on paper, mounted on an album leaf within a border lightly speckled in green.

Inscribed in English to the lower border:

�The great Nabob Ali Veidy Khan and his brother Hadgee Mahmud�

with a similar inscription on the reverse.

�Alivardi Khan, Nawab of Bengal, is seated on a white marble terrace overlooking the river, a falcon perched on his leather-gloved right hand. He sits on a green carpet with a pink border and leans against a pink and green bolster with gold floral sprigs and tassels. Pink cushions on either side ensure the Nawab�s comfort. Behind him, an attendant stands guard. The attendant carries a peacock feather fan (morchal). A thrust-dagger (katar) is tucked into his sash (patka).

Seated in conversation facing �Alivardi Khan is a nobleman identified by the inscription as his brother, Hadji Mahmud. He sits respectfully off the carpet yet leans into it, subtly implying at once both the intimacy of a relative and the subordinate position of a courtier in front of the ruler. All three figures are clad in white garments that integrate harmoniously with the white marble terrace, the Nawab�s sumptuous yet restrained clothes and jewels thrown into relief by the piquant colours of the carpet and cushions. The faces are all painted with exquisite refinement.

all text, images � Simon Ray Limited


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