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PROPERTY FROM THE LANIER COLLECTION

KING DAVID PLAYS THE HARP
Estimate
12,00018,000
LOT SOLD. 12,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
303

PROPERTY FROM THE LANIER COLLECTION

KING DAVID PLAYS THE HARP
Estimate
12,00018,000
LOT SOLD. 12,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

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

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New York

KING DAVID PLAYS THE HARP
Opaque watercolor heightened with gold on paper
image: 6 1/2 by 4 1/4 in. (15.2 by 10 cm)
folio: 9 1/4 by 6 1/2 in. (22.8 by 15.2 cm)
Private collection

Acquired in the 1990's

 
India, Imperial Mughal, circa 1800
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Catalogue Note

The gold-crowned Prophet David, seated on an octagonal dais, robed in purple and gold with blue and gold hems, playing an angel-headed harp, his fingers plucking the strings. On a low green landscape with flowering blossoms.  Enthroned against a verdigris background.

Mughal images of the biblical King David was a subject likely inspired by the central section of an engraving by Johann Sadeler I (Netherlands 1550-1601 Venice circa 1590-1600).  An example of "King David Playing the Harp with Angels Dancing and Playing Music" is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (accession no. 53.601.171).  Imperial Mughal painters - beginning with the royal workshops of Emperor Akbar - had absorbed the pictorial influence of European art via engravings and oil paintings imported into the Mughal court.  Some influences were stylistic in the form of naturalistic shading and detail - however occasionally the influences were in the form of European portraiture and subjects - often biblical - as in the present example.

There are two other known examples of this subject,  one ascribed to Manohar (The David Collection, Copenhagen, inventory no. 31/2001) dated circa 1620-30 - set within borders of a Shah Jahan muraqqa' folio. Another version made in Delhi circa 1800 from the James and William Fraser Collection was mounted into later Shah Jahan style borders.  Our present example has a somewhat rounder portrait-like face and wispier beard than the two previous examples - as well some differences in the colors and dais placement above the lower landscape.  All three examples are set on plain verdigris backgrounds.  

Applied within a Later Eighteenth Century album folio with dark blue inner gold-flecked borders with gold inner margins between colored ruled lines. Buff/natural gold-flecked outer borders.  Inscribed above in black ink Urdu script "shab e mubarak hadrat auliya alai salam" honoring the Prophet David, on the verdigris ground with another in the outer border at top.

For a similar work, see Sotheby's London, 23 April 1996, lot 8.

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

|
New York