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From a dispersed historical portrait series of Mughal rulers and allies: nawab of Awadh, Sa'adat Khan Burhan al-Mulk(r.1722-39). Awadh, circa late 18th century. Opaque watercolour with gold on wasli, an identifying inscription written (probably later) in English to the reverse. 25.5 x 16.5cm
In 1722 Mughal Emperor Shah Muhammad appointed Persian Shia Muslim noble Sa'adat Khan Burhan al-Mulk as nawab of Awadh. Although a subedar under British rule Sa'adat Khan nevertheless wrested control from the shaikhzadas, powerful local land barons, securing greater political stability and high level of autonomy - to the effect that he had founded a nawabi dynasty. This elevated position led to him fatally siding with fellow Persian Nadir Shah during the plan to conquer Delhi: the nawab died during the onset of attack, it is said from suicide due to being cast adrift by Nadir Shah's treachery.
The backing paper to the frame also has an identification written in English, also the Boston USA framer's paper label from 23rd April 1963, see image below.
Personal collection of Raja Chait Singh (1770 - 1781).
Property of British East india Company, 1781-96
Collection Sir John Murray, acq. 1796
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Above: gilt detail reflecting light
Images and text © Indian Miniature Paintings Ltd