288
288

PROPERTY FROM THE LANIER COLLECTION

MAHARAJA PRATAP SINGH OF SAWAR WITH A BIRDCAGE
Estimate
4,0006,000
JUMP TO LOT
288

PROPERTY FROM THE LANIER COLLECTION

MAHARAJA PRATAP SINGH OF SAWAR WITH A BIRDCAGE
Estimate
4,0006,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Works of Art Including Property from The Cleveland Museum of Art

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MAHARAJA PRATAP SINGH OF SAWAR WITH A BIRDCAGE
Opaque watercolor heightened with gold on paper
image: 7 by 5 1/4 in. (17.8 by 12.7 cm)
India, Rajasthan, Ajmer, Sawar, circa 1690-1700
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Provenance

Sotheby's New York, 25 March 1987, lot 138

Catalogue Note

Maharaja Pratap Singh (r.1668-1707) of Sawar seated with folded legs on a gold and brown-veined marble throne-chair.  Wearing a diaphanous jama and Mughal-style pagri with a black feather ornament - he holds a delicate blossom.  His katar (dagger) tucked in his sash.  His favorite birdcage curiously half-covered below him.  An attendant stands behind in a red mughal-style pagri (cap) holding another small cage and waving a peacock-feathered morchal (ceremonial peacock-feathered fan).  Rendered In the nim qalam (partly colored) manner with slight touches of verdigris and moss green ground.

Only one portrait of Maharaja Pratap Singh's predecessor, Maharaja Sundar Das (1606-1668), is known; see D. Mason, Intimate Worlds, Philadelphia, 2001, p. 138-9, cat. 54. This portrait also idiosyncratically depicts the raja with a birdcage - apparently a reoccurring motif in Sawar portraiture, given that Pratap's successor, Maharaja Raj Singh (r. 1705-30) is also often depicted in the presence of a small birdcage.  In our painting, Pratap Singh is rendered with a greater degree of realism than others known from Sawar - his face is delineated with great clarity and naturalistic shading.  It is a striking portrait and one unlike almost any other published work from Sawar.  His attendant stands behind, sketched-in over white heightening - very finely and sensitively rendered with mossy-green background left somewhat unfinished.  This is a contemporary portrait of Maharaja Pratap Singh compared to the later portraits of Raj Singh; see A. Topsfield and M. C. Beach, Indian Paintings and Drawings from the Collection of Howard Hodgkin, New York, 1991, cat. 24.

For related works, see I. Pasricha, 'Painting at Sawar and Isarda in the 17th century,' in Oriental Art, New Series, vol. XXVIII, no. 3, Autumn 1982.

Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Works of Art Including Property from The Cleveland Museum of Art

|
New York