Tue, 18th May 2021 10:00

The Sally Hunter and Ian Posgate Collection, Badgemore Grange

Lot 132


Calcutta School, c.1800

Company School Ornithological Watercolours
The exquisitely detailed ornithological paintings seen in the following lots are legacies of the Anglo-Indian relationship fostered at the end of the eighteenth century, when the East India Company expanded its influence across the country. The British colonialists settling in India were fascinated by the exotic flora and fauna they encountered and attempted to document it by commissioning local artists to paint natural history pictures. The artists producing these works came from a range of Indian artistic traditions – Mughal, Maratha, Punjabi, Pahari, Tamil and Telugu. Three distinct schools emerged, first in Lucknow and Calcutta, then later in Delhi. Here we see examples from the Calcutta School at the turn of the 19th century and later examples of ‘Company School’, a term that refers to Indian artists working in a European tradition. The school declined after the 1840s when the practice of painting as a means of documentation was replaced by photography.

Calcutta School, c.1800
A pair of Indian tree pies
numbered '400' and '399' in Persian (the first l.r., the second l.l.,) both further inscribed l.c., the second with an indistinct inscription in Latin l.l., pencil pen and ink and watercolour, heightened with bodycolour and gum arabic
both 47.6 x 32.8cm (2)

Provenance: Christie's London, 'Watercolours and Pictures of Birds', 30 September 1997, lot 17.

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Sold for £26,000

Condition Report
There is possibly a small repair to the paper to the lower left corner of the bird facing left. see image. There are a couple of very minor sports of foxing emerging, see illustrations and a little time staining. Otherwise in generally good order.



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Auction: The Sally Hunter and Ian Posgate Collection, Badgemore Grange, Tue, 18th May 2021



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Sat 15 May, 10am - 4pm

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