A rare Mughal gold Seal with the name of Shah 'Alam  - India, dated AH 1175/ AD 1761, probably later mounts

mounted on to an ivory and wooden stamp set with a small oval inscribed green hardstone seal, the round fine gold seal engraved with bands of inscription in nasta'liq  8.4 cm. diam. - Estimate: £3,000 - 5,000

Notes: The inscription reads: 'Minister of the states, aggregate of the kingdom, the pivot of the most important, I'timad al-Dawla Asaf Jah Burhan al-Mulk Shuja' al-Dawla Abu'l-Mansur Khan Bahadur Safdar Jang, the faithful friend, the Commander-in-Chief, devotee of the Conqueror king Shah 'Alam 1175 (AD 1761-2), reigning year 2.'

According to Samsam al-Dawla, Shja' al-Dawla Bahadur was the son of Abu'l-Mansur Khan. After his father's death in 1167 (AD 1754), he took over his position as Governor of Oudh and Allahabad. He fought the Marathas several times and the Durranis during Alamgir II. He was appointed the Prime Minister by Shah 'Alam. He retook the territory which had been under the Marathas' rule and for that he was exalted by presents given by the Viziers: robe of honour, a necklace of pearls and a jewelled inkstand. He accompanied the Emperor to Bengal and was defeated by the British. His attempt to untie with others failed and eventually he made peace with the British and was content with the title Vizier. He died in 1188 (AD 1774-5) (see Nawwab Samsam-ud-daula Shah Nawaz Khan and his son Abdul Hayy, The Maathir-ul-umara, translated by H. Bereridge, vol.2, Delhi, reprint 1999, pp. 866-9.).

Bonhams. The Jacques Desenfans Collection, 10 Apr 2008. New Bond Street