Sotheby’s Bids on India

There will be art on sale as well,with miniature paintings such as the pahari painting.

Written by EXPRESS FEATURES SERVICE | Published: October 6, 2013 4:48 am

The international auction house,Sotheby’s,in London will host its first ever auction dedicated solely to art from Imperial India. The collection includes 90 pieces encompassing more than 500 years of Indian history.

The collection comprises 11 lots related to Tipu Sultan,which include the sword of the ‘Tiger of Mysore’,that was taken as booty during the storming of the fortress of Seringapatam by the British in May 1799. A further highlight in the same lot is an 11-bore silver-mounted flintlock duck gun from the personal armoury of the ruler which is dated between 1789-90.

One of the most expensive items at the sale is the diamond-set and enamelled gold tray and casket from the 18th century. The piece is from the Mughal courts and is estimated to be nothing lower than £ 200,000 (approx. Rs 1.9 crore). Swords and daggers that were considered finest during the Mughal empire are also part of the auction. The gem-set gold dagger and scabbard from the 1700s that was a part of the Mughal treasury is estimated to be value between £80,000 to £120,000 (approximately Rs 78 lakh-Rs 1.17 crore).

There will be art on sale as well,with miniature paintings such as the pahari painting,The Adoration of Rama and Sita,which depicts Rama and Sita enthroned,adored by gods,semi-divine beings,ascetics and mortals,which is valued between £100,000 to £150,000 (Rs 98 lakh-Rs 1.4 crore). The painting,The Rich Man and Lazarus,from the early 17th century is relatively cheaper at £10,000 to £15,000 (approx. Rs 9 lakh- Rs 14 lakh). This piece is among the numerous prints of Biblical subjects brought to India by Jesuit missionaries and other European travellers,diplomats and merchants in the early 17th century.

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