www.IndianMiniaturePaintings.co.uk - Posthumous portraits of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and wife Mumtaz Mahal. Anglo-Indian ("Company School") probably at Delhi, circa first half 19th century. Opaque watercolour with gold on ivory ovals in leather presentation case

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Posthumous portraits of Jahanzeb Banu Begum wife of Mughal Emperor Azam Shah (r. March - June 1707) and Inayat Banu Begum wife of Rafi-ud-Darjat (r. Feb. - May 1719). Anglo-Indian ("Company School") probably at Delhi, circa first half 19th century. Opaque watercolour with gold on ivory ovals in leather presentation case with velvet mount/matt to portraits and satin to inner doors, the case also serving as a self-standing frame (as in image above) via pull-out easel foot to rear. Dimensions: case 12.5 x 16.5cm; inner frame inc. mount 10.3 x 15cm; oval portraits each 6.2 x 5cm

The portraits encased here are unusual in being wives of emperors who most would never have heard of which would not be surprising given their omission from most publications on Indian or Mughal history/genealogies. Both emperors in this instance were self-appointed during a period of great turmoil during which the empire had begun its swift decline. Neither ruled for more than a few months and so never left an historical imprint worthy of note. Nevertheless it is undeniable that they were Mughal emperors and their wives empresses. The wives here were identified from Pictorial Album of Moghul Emperors and Empresses togather [sic] with Nawabs of Oudh, Lal Chand & Sons, Delhi, date unknown (circa 1930?).

Inventory 001037

Price £500

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Above: gilt detail reflecting light

Images and text © Peter Blohm