www.IndianMiniaturePaintings.co.uk - Indian miniature painting: folio probably from an illustrated history of Golconda and Hyderabad: the celebrated Hyderabadi courtesan Mah Laqa Bai (17681824). Hyderabad, circa early 19th century. Gouache on thin paper, an identifying inscription above and text panels in Persian to the reverse. 21 x 14.1cm.

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Folio probably from an illustrated history of Golconda and Hyderabad: the celebrated Hyderabadi courtesan Mah Laqa Bai (1768–1824). Hyderabad, circa early 19th century. Gouache on thin paper, an identifying inscription above and text panels in Persian to the reverse. 21 x 14.1cm

She was Chanda Bibi, on whom the title of Mah Laqa Bai was conferred by Nawab Ghufran Maab Asaf Jah II.   William Dalrymple in his "White Mughals" says of that in an age of great courtesans she was "the most celebrated beauty of the age...as renowned for her intelligence as her matchless dancing...not just glamorous and seductive: she was widely regarded as Hyderabad's greatest contemporary poet, whose works were collected as far away as Delhi and Lucknow...Such was the Nizam's reliance on her wisdom that alone of the women of Hyderabad she was given in her own right the rank of a senior omrah (nobleman), so that she could advise the Nizam on state policy." (pp. 172-3)

Ref: Hyderabad Mah Laqa Bai 17710

Price: £950

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