Rare Imperial painting soars to £42,000

Rediscovered 17th century painting thought to depict Shah Jahan and his tragic empress, the inspiration for the Taj Mahal, was purchased by a buyer in Hong Kong for £42,000


A painting attributed to one of the greatest court artists of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan soared to £42,000 after being discovered in a private collection in Suffolk.

The miniature painting (23.8 by 14.2cm) had been in the same collection since 1846, when a handwritten document by an expert in Arabic and Persian manuscripts was pasted to the back. 

Dated 18th July 1846, the document by R. E. Lofft describes the painting and interprets its inscription, and it also includes the opinion of H. H. Wilson, a prominent Sanskrit scholar and the librarian at East India House in London at the time.

An important and rare painting, it depicts a Mughal prince seated with his consort in a palace chamber. The later inscription in the lower border describes the scene as “a picture of Shah Jahan in the time of youth…” and names the artist as Govardhan, one of the leading Mughal royal painters of the first half of the 17th century. A short inscription at the lower left of the painted area appears to confirm this attribution. It reads “…dhan”, the second half of the name Govardhan. It is not clear why only the final letters of the name survive in this inscription, but it may simply be due to localised loss of pigment and subsequent retouching, of which there is evidence at the lower left corner.

 

To view more results from this sale click here 

 

 


 


 

More Recent News

 

Forthcoming Design Sales at Sworders

We are currently consigning for our autumn auction of Design to be held on Monday 24 & Tuesday 25 October with entries closing Friday 9 September.

23 June 2022

The 'V' Type Armchair Designed by Pierre Jeanneret (1896-1967)

Created for government officials in the city of Chandigarh, India, the 'V' Type Armchair was expertly crafted from humidity and bug resistant wood, ensuring they could withstand the test of time.

22 June 2022

The Queen’s Swans and How to Spot The Difference

A rare Tudor manuscript designed to help with swan-keeping in the era when mute swans were owned by the English crown comes to auction in the summer. The two-volume manuscript included in our August 23 sale of Books and Maps was used from the 16th to the19th century by landowners in Norfolk and Suffolk.

21 June 2022

 

 


 

Get Sworders News