A JUNGLE MYNA (ACRIDOTHERES FUSCUS) ON A FRUITING BRANCH, WITH SIGNATURE OF ZAYN AL-DIN, FROM THE LADY IMPEY SERIES, COMPANY SCHOOL, CALCUTTA, WITH DATE 1778
A JUNGLE MYNA (ACRIDOTHERES FUSCUS) ON A FRUITING BRANCH, WITH SIGNATURE OF ZAYN AL-DIN, FROM THE LADY IMPEY SERIES, COMPANY SCHOOL, CALCUTTA, WITH DATE 1778
A JUNGLE MYNA (ACRIDOTHERES FUSCUS) ON A FRUITING BRANCH, WITH SIGNATURE OF ZAYN AL-DIN, FROM THE LADY IMPEY SERIES, COMPANY SCHOOL, CALCUTTA, WITH DATE 1778
A JUNGLE MYNA (ACRIDOTHERES FUSCUS) ON A FRUITING BRANCH, WITH SIGNATURE OF ZAYN AL-DIN, FROM THE LADY IMPEY SERIES, COMPANY SCHOOL, CALCUTTA, WITH DATE 1778
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A JUNGLE MYNA (ACRIDOTHERES FUSCUS) ON A FRUITING BRANCH, WITH SIGNATURE OF ZAYN AL-DIN, FROM THE LADY IMPEY SERIES, COMPANY SCHOOL, CALCUTTA, WITH DATE 1778

Estimate: 25,000 - 35,000 GBP

A JUNGLE MYNA (ACRIDOTHERES FUSCUS) ON A FRUITING BRANCH, WITH SIGNATURE OF ZAYN AL-DIN, FROM THE LADY IMPEY SERIES, COMPANY SCHOOL, CALCUTTA, WITH DATE 1778

Estimate: 25,000 - 35,000 GBP

Lot Sold:35,000GBP

Lot Details

Description

A JUNGLE MYNA (ACRIDOTHERES FUSCUS) ON A FRUITING BRANCH, WITH SIGNATURE OF ZAYN AL-DIN, FROM THE LADY IMPEY SERIES, COMPANY SCHOOL, CALCUTTA, WITH DATE 1778


watercolour on European watermarked paper, original signature and inscription detached and archived


52.5 by 50.9cm.

Condition Report

A crease runs in the middle of the painting, various stains, the drawing has been laid down on carton, whose border are slightly restored, the signature and inscription detatched from the painting and in a separate folder, as viewed.


"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Cataloguing

Provenance

Sir Elijah Impey (1732-1809) and Lady Impey (1749-1818).

Possibly in the Linnean Society, London, 1855-1963 and sold in these rooms, 10 June 1963, lot 54.

Eyre and Hobhouse, London, circa 1978.

Catalogue Note

This study of a Jungle Myna bird is from the great series of bird and animal illustrations painted for Sir Eljiah and Lady Impey between 1777 and 1783, the earliest and without doubt the finest of the natural history series made for the British in India.

Sir Elijah Impey was appointed the first Chief Justice of Bengal in 1774, taking his wife and household with him. Lady Impey developed an interest in the flora and fauna of India and South East Asia and set about collecting animals and birds in the large park attached to their house in Calcutta. From 1777 she employed Shaykh Zayn al-Din, an artist from Patna, to record the various animals and birds in a naturalistic manner. By 1780 the project had grown and Lady Impey employed two further artists, Bhawani Das and Ram Das. In 1783 Sir Elijah was recalled to London, by which time over 326 illustrations had been completed. After Sir Elijah's death in 1809, the collection was sold by Phillips of New Bond Street.

The present bird can be identified as a Jungle Myna (Acridotheres fuscus), a resident of South Asia whose habitat extends from the Himalayas south to Bengal, Bangladesh and the eastern and south-western coastal areas of India. Jungle Mynas inhabit wooded and cultivated areas. They are omnivorous, feeding on insects, seeds and fruit. The plant can be identified as a Callicarpa or Lantana.


A study of the same bird and plant was painted for Lady Impey by Zayn al-Din in 1778, the same year as the present version. It was subsequently in the collection of the Linnean Society of London and was sold in these rooms 10 June 1963, lot 54. It is possible that the present example is actually the same painting that was in the Linnean Society, or that it is another version of the same bird painted by Zayn al-Din for Lady Impey, a practise that is known to have occurred (there are at least two versions of the Satyr Tragopan and the Painted Stork).


Other examples from the Impey series are in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Radcliffe Science Library, Oxford, the David Collection, Copenhagen, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Yale Center for British Art.

Arts of the Islamic World
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