275
275

SOLD BY ORDER OF THE 12TH DUKE OF NORTHUMBERLAND AND THE TRUSTEES OF THE NORTHUMBERLAND ESTATES

Shaykh Inayat Allah Kanbu of Lahore, Bihar-i-Danish (‘The Romance of Jahandar Sultan and Bahravar Banu’), Mughal, late 17th/early 18th century
Estimate
100,000150,000
LOT SOLD. 194,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
275

SOLD BY ORDER OF THE 12TH DUKE OF NORTHUMBERLAND AND THE TRUSTEES OF THE NORTHUMBERLAND ESTATES

Shaykh Inayat Allah Kanbu of Lahore, Bihar-i-Danish (‘The Romance of Jahandar Sultan and Bahravar Banu’), Mughal, late 17th/early 18th century
Estimate
100,000150,000
LOT SOLD. 194,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Art of Imperial India

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London

Shaykh Inayat Allah Kanbu of Lahore, Bihar-i-Danish (‘The Romance of Jahandar Sultan and Bahravar Banu’), Mughal, late 17th/early 18th century
Persian manuscript on paper, 375 leaves, foliated in Persian numerals in red, 16 lines to the page, written in nasta’liq script in black with headings and important passages in red, two illuminated headpieces in colours and gold, the first with illumination in the margins on two pages, 118 fully-coloured miniatures, including 22 double-page scenes, margins ruled in red and gold, 19th-century English description of the manuscript written on blank at beginning, 19th-century Indian red morocco with yellow painted borders and decoration on backstrip, modern gilt library number 774 on spine
26.5 by 16cm.
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Provenance

Probably acquired by Henry Algernon George Percy, Earl Percy (1871-1909), appointed Under-Secretary of State for India between 1902-3, and who travelled extensively in the near East and Africa, thence by descent.

Catalogue Note

Shaykh Inayat Allah completed the text of the Bahar-i-Danish towards the end of Shah Jahan’s reign in 1061 AH/1651 AD. In the introduction Inayat Allah admits that his story is an Indian one which he heard told by a Brahmin, and which he adapted to create the present Persian version. The English inscription at the beginning refers to the translation made by Jonathan Scott, published in 1799.

This profusely illustrated copy is likely to originate from the late Aurangzeb period at the end of the seventeenth century, although a large amount of the paintings evoke the style and lyricism of the earlier Shah Jahan period, and such artists as Govardhan (active in the first half of the seventeenth century). Interestingly the manuscript contains an earlier portrait of Shah Jahan in his old age on folio seven, and this appears to have been added at some point after the production of the work.

While most of the miniatures are in the later seventeenth century Mughal style, others retain features of the early eighteenth century. A likely explanation for this is that a certain amount of the pages were left blank when originally illustrated, and were painted a little later. The manuscript is unusual for this combination of painting, and a parallel can be drawn with other Mughal romances of the early eighteenth century, for example the Karnama-i-ishq dated 1735, now in the India Office Library as Johnson Album 38.

The illumination and miniatures are as follows:

f. 1b-2                   Illuminated headpiece with decorated borders on two pages.
f. 3b-4                   Coloured portrait drawings of two Mughal courtiers facing one another.
f. 6                          A mullah reading a document.
f. 6b                       Illuminated headpiece.
f. 7                          Shah Jahan standing with a sword over his shoulder.
f. 7b-8                   Portraits of two Mughal courtiers.
f. 11                       A prince with three mullahs.
f. 13b                     A lady sleeping with her baby.
f. 14                       Jahandar Sultan receiving courtiers.
f. 15b                     Jahandar Sultan hawking.
f. 16b                     Groom with a horse.
f. 17                       Jahandar Sultan discussing a caged parrot.
f. 19                       Jahandar Sultan meets Bahravar Banu.
f. 23                       A mullah passes out before Bahravar Banu and her ladies.
f. 27                       Sultan Jahandar faints at the sight of the portrait of Bahravar Banu.
f. 33b                     A man hanging upside down from a tree.
f. 34                       Sultan Jahandar and Bahravar Banu asleep as a cobra approaches.
f. 38b                     A man up a tree attacked by a snake.
f. 42                       Two ladies with a man and a cow.
f. 42b                     Ladies with a slain male corpse at night.
f. 43b                     A lady attacking a man with a sword.
f. 47                       Two ladies with a man and a cow.
f. 58                       Courtiers hailing Sultan Jahandar and Bahravar Banu.
f. 67                       Men stoning a maiden having hanged an old lady.
f. 69b                     Two cats up a tree with a man beneath.
f. 72                       A lady receives a peacock.
f. 74                       A maiden beheaded.
f. 75b                     Two men discussing two dead birds.
f. 79                       A man approaching ladies at a well.
f. 81                       The man levitates over a bed.
f. 82b                     A couple with a cow.
f. 83b                     A lady tended on a bed.
f. 85                       A man up a tree while a couple search beneath.
f. 87b-88              A lady in a palanquin.
f. 90                       A lady with a severed nose visiting a sleeping man.
f. 91                       Sultan Jahandar pleading with a lady.
f. 93b                     A prince enthroned.
f. 97                       Sultan Jahandar enthroned.
f. 99b                     Men watching a travelling divine.
f. 101                     [Space left for miniature].
f. 104                     A parrot brought to a holy man.
f. 104b                  An empty landscape.
f. 106                     A prince visiting a holy man.
f. 110b-111          Archers aiming at a Simurgh which carries off a body.
f. 112b                  A girl on the tail of a water-dragon.
f. 113-114            Monkeys beneath a tree into which a bhil has climbed
f. 114b                  A monkey embraces the bhil.
f. 117-118            The monkeys wave the bhil off on her sea voyage.
f. 120b-121          The bhil approaches a meeting of four divines.
f. 124b                  A rat, a jackal, and a camel tied to a tree.
f. 126b-127          Riders approaching rats who carry gold coins in their mouths.
f. 129                     A rat rides the camel.
f. 129b                  Ground squirrels (?) in a landscape.
f. 133                     Two ladies in discussion.
f. 133b                  A lady flies with wings.
f. 136                     A prince asleep with attendants, one dozing.
f. 136b                  Palace with doorkeepers.
f. 129                     Prisoners with executioner.
f. 143b-144          A nobleman aiming a bow beyond two courtiers.
f. 144b                  Man with a parrot on his head.
f. 148                     A man on a verandah.
f. 148b                  The man receives a parrot.
f. 151                     The man falls into a river where a fisherman casts his net.
f. 151b                  A lady in a boat.
f. 155                     An old man with a sick cow.
f. 155b                  The cow gets better.
f. 161                     A demon sleeps in a landscape.
f. 161b                  A prince approaching a lady.
f. 165                     A town beneath clouds.
f. 165b                  Sleeping prince with attendants.
f. 170b                  Man with fish [defective].
f. 173b                  A king holding court.
f. 174                     A man feeding a fish out of water.
f. 177b-178          A king entertained by musicians and dancing girls.
f. 181b                  A man leads his veiled wife on horseback.
f. 190b-191          A severed head brought to a prince while gunmen shoot sky-travellers.
f. 196b                  A mounted warrior slain in the field by a mounted prince.
f. 198b                  A prince hawking with his lady.
f. 2013b                A queen and mutilated men.
f. 210b-211          A prince leaves his throne to greet a friend in a field.
f. 216                     Two ladies taking refreshment.
f. 221b-222          An elopement on a camel.
f. 226                     A prince petitioned by a mullah.
f. 231b-232          The prince with the mullah and others.
f. 244                     A prince with attendants.
f. 245                     A mullah visiting a lady.
f. 249b                  A sleeping lady lifted by thieves.
f. 250                     The thieves vanquished after a fight while the lady remains asleep.
f. 25b-258            Two men discussing a simurgh while a cobra climbs to her nest.
f. 264b-265          A lady chased from the zenana garden while the simurgh approaches.
f. 266b                  A prince receives a visitor.
f. 267                     A prince by a tank.
f. 271                     Cats fighting while some men depart.
f. 75b-276            A man brings a netted captive beneath the window of a lady.
f. 280                     A prince and princess with ladies.
f. 282b-283          A prince and lady with female musicians.
f. 288b                  A man runs away as his horse grows a serpent’s tail.
f. 289                     Two cobras.
f. 292                     Courtiers considering a tree-sprite.
f. 295b-296          A melon floating in the ornamental pool of a garden.
f. 299                     Three men hailing a princess at her window.
f. 302                     Two ladies meet a negro.
f. 308b                  Four ladies bathing.
f. 309                     A prince fainting.
f. 314                     A lady travelling by camel.
f. 322                     A couple by a fish pool.
f. 326                     A boy with deer.
f. 328b                  Four ladies finding a boy under a tree.
f. 333b-334          A princess shows her portrait to a prince, dancers on the left.
f. 337                     The prince and princess enthroned.      
f. 341b                  The prince and princess in a garden.
f. 346b                  A swordsman chasing deer in a landscape.
f. 349b                  A mynah bird brought to a prince by a courtier.
f. 351b                  A buck caught by hounds before a prince.
f. 358b-359          A battle scene with elephants and cavalry.
f. 359b-360          A prince and princess with girl entertainers.
f. 365b                 Ladies bringing presents to a prince.
f. 372b-373          Princes following the biers of Jahandar Sultan and Bahravar Banu on horseback.

Art of Imperial India

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