Lot 143
  • 143

An illustration from a series on divination and omens (Falnamah): Gog with a Collar of Mountains, India, Mughal, circa 1580

8,000 - 10,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • gouache on paper
gouache on cloth, text in nasta'liq script in two cartouches below miniature


Sotheby's, London, 8 June 2002, lot 2

Catalogue Note

The legendary giant Gog appears in the Bible and Qur'an, and in illustrated versions of the Falnamah is often depicted wearing a huge collar of mountains, signifying the Islamic myth in which he is shut off behind brazen gates or a mountainous wall, from which he will one day break free. The myth is associated with Iskandar (Alexander the Great), but in Falnamah illustrations it is often the figure of Moses who is depicted striking Gog (see, for example, a near contemporary version of this scene in the Museum voor Volkenkunde, Rotterdam and another one published in Falk and Digby 1979, no.6, pp.16,18). The Rotterdam example has the full text of this Fal, which is translated as "The fact that Moses and [G]og have appeared in your Fāl confirms the wretched plight of your enemies. Follow God and the religious path, and you will never be afflicted by sorrow." (Kahl, p.135, no.25)

Other illustrations from this series have appeared at Sotheby's, London, 8 October 2014, lot 204, Colnaghi, Paintings from Mughal India, 1979, nos.1-4; Sotheby's, London, 17 June 1999, lot 3; 26 April 1995, lot 137; and Christie's, London, 24 April 1980, lot 49. For an essay and further examples see Falk and Digby 1979, pp.13-19.