Lot 52. A Kneeling Prince, Bukhara, Late 16th century and Mughal India, 17th century. Estimate £30,000 - GBP 50,000. Price realised GBP 37,500. © Christie's Image Ltd 2015

Opaque pigments heightened with gold on paper, the prince kneels in a landscape wearing gold embroidered robes with a series of daggers tucked into his belt, a falcon perches on his right arm, laid down between blue and cream borders and gold, black and white rules on wide gold-speckled blue borders, a later owner's stamp in the lower margin, mountedPainting 5 7/8 x 4in. (15.1 x 10.2cm.); folio 9 5/8 x 7 5/8in. (24.5 x 19.3cm.)

ProvenanceBy repute 19th century UK Private Collection, sold Bonham’s, London, 5 April 2011, lot 23

LiteratureArts from the Land of Timur, exhibition catalogue, Edinburgh, 2012, no.495, p.270

ExhibitedArts from the Land of Timur, Edinburgh, 2013

NoteThe subject of this painting is closely paralleled by another portrait of a Prince with a falcon in the Art and History Trust collection. Abolala Soudavar attributes that example to Transoxiana, circa 1550, (Abolala Soudavar, Art of the Persian Courts, New York, 1992, no.82, p.217). The portrait in the Art and History Trust Collection depicts the figure kneeling in almost identical manner to our portrait. The depiction of the face however is composed with confident hard-edged lines which contrast with the soft and rounded features of our figure. The overall outline of our face with its curved cheeks and slightly projected rounded chin is very similar to the modelling on the face of our present figure. This would suggest that our portrait is related to the Art and History Trust painting but probably slightly later in date. The elegantly gold decorated tunic and the colourful belt is very similar to those depicted on a closely related turbaned figure represented in a painting in the India Office Library, which B.W. Robinson attributed to late 16th Century Bukhara, (B.W. Robinson, Persian Paintings in the India Office Library, London, 1976, no. 920, p. 185).

The background and possibly some elements of the falcon were added in India. The seal impression of Asaf al-Dawla the Nawab Wazir of Awadh (1775-97) would suggest that these Indian alterations predate his appointment at court.

Christie's. Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds, 23 April 2015, London