Sikh Art Watch – March 14 2016 – Sikh Art Auction at Bonhams

AN APOTHECARY
Kangra, Sikh period, mid-19th century

Auction Date: 14 Mar 2016, starting at 16:00 EDT
AUCTION 23200: INDIAN, HIMALAYAN & SOUTHEAST ASIAN ART

Lot# 113
Estimate: US$ 10,000 – 15,000
Sold: for US$ 40,000 (CA$ 53,150) inc. premium

CATALOGUE NOTE

Opaque watercolor and gold on paper; verso with unidentified ink signature.
Image: 7 3/4 x 11 5/8 in. (19.7 x 29.5 cm);
Folio: 10 3/4 x 14 1/2 in. (27.2 x 36.8 cm)

FOOTNOTES

  • At this stall, we are greeted by a youthful apothecary grinding prescriptions with a pestle and mortar. To his left, another mixes a concoction, exciting the attention of customer who jovially reaches for a bottle from the low table in front. The two young men are perhaps sons or apprentices of the stately posed senior dressed in an impressive gold and orange jama and green Kashmiri shawl.

    A page from the same series inscribed in nastaliq has been read as, Basarat, son of Dutta (Poster, Realms of Heroism, 1994, p.298, no. 247). However, a new reading suggests that it may read Bashara, son of Ditta which is supported by a faint inscription written in English on the reverse of the present page. Two further, without inscriptions, sold at Sotheby’s, London, 28 April 1981, lots 139 & 140, and another is reproduced in Fussmann, Mythos und Leben, Berlin, 1992, pp. 148-9, no. 70. Another from the series, from the Sven Ghalin Collection, sold Sotheby’s, London, 6 October 2015, lot 104.

    From a series depicting trades of the bazaar, each painting follows a strict architectural formula, while their atmospheres differ congruent with each vocation. The present lot has a convivial mood reiterated in the brightly colored glass bottles crowding the shelves and the pink glass chandelier. Typical of others from the series there are framed paintings adorning the walls. The portraits of Krishna, Shiva, and gentile Europeans provides an insight into the manner in which these paintings were offered for sale to a broader community beyond the direct commission of British patrons. For sketched portraits similar to those in the shop, see Carey Welch,Indian Drawings and Painted Sketches, New York, 1976, pp. 62-3, no. 25.

    Provenance
    Private New England Estate, acquired in Paris, 1960’s


A GEM DEALER
Kangra, Sikh period, mid-19th century

Auction Date: 14 Mar 2016, starting at 16:00 EDT
AUCTION 23200: INDIAN, HIMALAYAN & SOUTHEAST ASIAN ART

Sikh Art Watch – March 14 2016 – Sikh Art Auction at Bonhams

Lot# 114
Estimate: US$ 7,000 – 10,000
Sold: for US$ 21,250 (CA$ 28,236) inc. premium

CATALOGUE NOTE

Opaque watercolor and gold on paper; verso with unidentified ink signature.
Image: 7 3/4 x 11 5/8 in. (19.7 x 29.5 cm);
Folio: 10 3/4 x 14 5/8 in. (27.2 x 37.1 cm)

FOOTNOTES

  • At this merchant stall, a despondent looking gem dealer seems to tune out the negotiations of his dapper young client. His bifocals and various sapphires, emeralds, and diamonds are scattered on the mat beside him in amongst the inlaid boxes and traditional white bundle-containers. Both his client’s fur-trimmed jacket and the dealer’s green and gold jama speak to the lucrative business he is in. As does the empty bench in front of them, unpopulated by street-goers compared with other paintings from this series (see the previous lot for more information).

    The dealer covers his legs with a deep orange and floral trim Kashmiri blanket, perhaps keeping warm from the Punjabi winter. Behind him, Kangra-style nayikaminiatures of love, suggest his client is here to buy a group of pearls as a gift. But, the dealer’s deadpan gaze at the viewer suggests they are far from agreement.

    Provenance
    Private New England Estate, acquired in Paris, 1960’s

 

 

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