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Ghulam Ali Khan

India (1817 -  1855 )
ALI KHAN Ghulam Views Of Monuments In And Around Delhi

Apr 23, 2013
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Artworks in Arcadja

Some works of Ghulam Ali Khan

Extracted between 15 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Ghulam Ali Khan - Of Afghan Figures Beneath Trees

Ghulam Ali Khan - Of Afghan Figures Beneath Trees

Original c.1815-20


Lot number: 39
A group of Afghan figures beneath trees, attributable to Ghulam 'Ali Khan, Delhi, circa 1815-20
gouache on paper, laid down on card, inscribed in nasta\’\’liq script: 'Golam Hosein Khan Afghan Mansouri, Sanu Da\’\’i [the nurse], Osman Khan Kudak [the child], Nader Khan Afghan, Sh...yar Afghan and Ramzan Khan'
30.4 by 40.2cm.
Ghulam Ali Khan - Views Of Monuments In And Around Delhi

Ghulam Ali Khan - Views Of Monuments In And Around Delhi



Net Price
Lot number: 352
A series of 31 paintings by Ghulam 'Ali Khan (fl. 1817-55), consisting of views of monuments in and around Delhi, and including four portraits of the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah II (reg. 1837-58) and his sons, in its original leather-covered presentation box

Delhi, circa 1852-1854, three paintings dated November 1852

watercolour and gold on paper, black margin rules, three title pages, three sheets of portraits, all with identifying inscriptions in English and in Persian in


script in black ink, the portraits with further inscriptions in


script with the date November 1852 (Christian date written in Arabic), in later mounts, loose in contemporary green leather-covered despatch box, the lid embossed in gold


paintings 290 x 215 mm. and slightly smaller; mounts 318 x 394 mm.; box 435 x 365 x 110 mm.(32)


Private UK collection.

The paintings comprise (listing the English inscriptions in italics, followed by a translation or paraphrase of the Persian):

1. [Title page] English:

Sketches of The Delhee Palace &c., Delhee, 1854

Persian: An album of drawings for presentation [without mentioning any name] including the citadel of Shah Jahan Abad and other monuments in Delhi, Agra and others.


Signet of the King of Delhee Aboo Zufr Siraj ood Deen Mohumud Bahadoor Shah Badshah Ghazee. 1st Year of his Reign

[with his descendants listed]

The illuminated seal impression of Siraj al-Din Muhammad Bahadur Shah dated first regnal year, AH 1254/AD 1838.

3. A stylised calligraphic composition surmounted by an English-style insignia with the name


. The roundel gives the name of Captain Douglas. This is apparently Sir Thomas Monteath Douglas (1787-1868). He entered the East India Company's Bengal Army in 1806; served in many campaigns between 1809 and 1826; Lt-Colonel in 1834; ADC to Queen Victoria; left India about 1845; added the name of Douglas to his own in 1851; KCB and General in 1865. (C. F. Buckland,

Dictionary of Indian Biography

, New York 1968, p. 122). The emblem of a boar before an oak tree is apparently that of Sir Edward Robert Pearce Edgecombe (1851-1929).???

4. Two portraits:

Mirza Mahomed Juwan Bakht Bahadoor, 3d son; Mirza Zuheer ood deen, alias Mirza Mooghul Bahadur, 2nd Son.

; Mirza Muhammad Zahir al-Islam known as Mirza Mughul Bahador [on the right] and Mirza Muhammad Javan Bakht Bahadur [on the left], both signed by Ghulam 'Ali Khan, dated November 1852.


Mirza Mahomed Sooltan Sutteh ood Moolk Shah, the Heir Apparent.

; signed by Ghulam 'Ali Khan, dated November 1852.


Aboo Zuffer Siraj ood deen Mahomed Bahadoor Shah, Emperor of Delhee.


The Throne in the Dewan Am.

; the throne inside the Shah Jahan Abad Citadel.


Wall behind the King's Seat in Dewan Am.

; the inner wall of the throne in the divan of Shah Jahan Abad citadel with depiction of animals.


The Dewan Am - and the Buildings occupied by the Heir Apparent.

; the divan-e 'am (Hall of Public Audience), with the throne and buildings of the Crown Prince inside the Shah Jahan Abad citadel.


The Commandant's quarters over the Lahore Gate of the Palace.

; the Lahori of Shah Jahan Abad citadel from inside, where the Citadel-Holder resides.


The interior of the Dewan Khas - and the Tusbee Khana.

; the interior of the divan-e khass (Hall of Private Audience) of Shah Jahan Abad citadel and the tasbih-khana.


Mausoleum of Sufdur Jung - 3 Kofs from Delhee on the Kootub Road.

; Tomb of Safdar Jang on Qutub road.

13. Two views:

The warm or inner room of the Bath; the cold or outer room of the Bath.

; the hot room of the bath in the Shah Jahan Abad citadel; the cold room of the bath in the Shah Jahan Abad citadel.


The Chhutta within the Lahore Gate of the Palace.

; the


within the mentioned Gate [i.e. Lahore Gate] of the citadel in the Shah Jahan Abad citadel.


The Hoomayoon Mausoleum near Delhee.

; Humayun Mausoleum from Arab Sara side.


The Lahore Gate of the Palace and that leading to the Square before it.

; the Lahore Gate of Shah Jahan Abad citadel and ... [Hindi-based words indecipherable]


South view of the Juma Masjid at Delhee

(this painting

en grisaille

); view of Shah Jahan Abad mosque from Bhari side.


The Reception Room in the Dewan Khas.

; the reception room at the divan-e khass [Hall of Private Audience] of Shah Jahan Abad citadel.


The Peacock Throne in the Dewan Khas.

; the Peacock Throne inside the divan-e khass of Shah Jahan Abad citadel.


Front view of the Juma Masjid at Delhee, within the enclosure.

; the Jami' Mosque of Shah Jahan Abad opposite the Great Gate.


View of the Palace Buildings of the Shah Boorj, Summer Boorj, and Ussud Boorj from the Eastern or river face.

; the view of the Citadel with the Shah Buruj, the Saman Buruj and Asad Buruj from the river.


Mausoleum of Hauziut Sooltan Nizam ood Deen, near Delhee.

; tomb of Nizam al-Din together with Babur's tomb.


Masjid Roshun ood Daulah near the Kotuabe at Delhee.

; the mosque of Rawshan al-Dawla near Kutwali in Shah Jahan Abad.


Masjid Koo-ut ood Islam - from Pillar and Arches built by Rao Pithawarah

; Quwwat al-Islam Mosque with four minarets built by Raja Pithurah and its court.


The Susbeen Khana near the Dewan Khas.

; the tasbih khana in the divan-e khass of the Shah Jahan Abad citadel.


The Zuffer Muhul.

; the newly built Zafar Mahal inside the citadel of Shah Jahan Abad.


Interior of the Rung Muhul.

; the interior of Rang Mahal inside the citadel of Shah Jahan Abad.


The Rung Muhul.

; the Rang Mahal inside the citadel of Shah Jahan Abad.


Sawun, or Summer House.

; the Sawun inside the citadel of Shah Jahan Abad.


The Kootub Minar - 11 miles South of Delhee.

; the minaret of Khwaja Qutb al-Din (Qutub Minar) together with the tomb of Adham and the Qutub Gate.


The Motee Masjid.

; the Muti Mosque inside the citadel of Shah Jahan Abad.

Ghulam 'Ali Khan was one of the foremost painters in Delhi in the first half of the 19th Century, and was employed by the royal households of both Akbar II (reg. 1806-37) and Bahadur Shah II. His oeuvre encompassed portraits and topographical views, as well as paintings which in sense combine the two, such as the painting depicting the durbar of Colonel James Skinner. He also ranged further afield, working for more than ten years at the courts of Jhajjar and the Alwar court of Raja Baani Singh. He was closely associated too with East India Company figures, notably William Fraser and James Skinner. After portraits of the penultimate Mughal Emperor, Akbar II, Ghulam 'Ali Khan was commissioned to paint the important accession portrait of Bahadur Shah II enthroned (versions of which are in the Smithsonian, Washington DC, and in the Nasser D. Khalili collection, London).

The paintings in the present lot date from late in Ghulam 'Ali Khan's career, and apparently his life, and the group is dominated by topographical works, some of little-seen subjects, and unusual viewpoints. (e.g. the Chhutta with the Lahore Gate; the Masjid Roshun ood Daulah; the Zuffar Mahal; the Mausoleum of Hauziut Sooltan; and the view of the Jami Masjid

en grisaille

). The popularity of such views can be attributed both to an Indian desire to portray the seats of Mughal power (however much this was in reality on its last legs), and to a British and European antiquarian interest in these sites (see Y. Sharma, p. 42). The date of 1854 also puts the group of paintings poignantly close to the Mutiny, the consequent sack of Delhi, and the downfall of the Mughal Empire with the exile and death of Bahadur Shah II.

For Ghulam 'Ali Khan, see:

L. Y. Leach,

Paintings from India

, Nasser D. Khalili Collection, London 1998, pp. 161-163.

Y. Sharma, 'In the Company of the Mughal Court: Delhi Painter Ghulam 'Ali Khan', in W. Dalrymple, Y. Sharma (edd.),

Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi 1707-1857

, New Haven 2012, pp. 41-51.

J. P. Losty, M. Roy,

Mughal India: Art, Culture and Empire

, London 2012, pp. 217-220.
Ghulam Ali Khan - Al-mulk Amin Al-sultan Atabeg-i Azam Attributable To  Isma'il Jalayir Tehran Qajar Persia  The Property Of A Lady

Ghulam Ali Khan - Al-mulk Amin Al-sultan Atabeg-i Azam Attributable To Isma'il Jalayir Tehran Qajar Persia The Property Of A Lady



Gross Price
Lot number: 55
oil on canvas

This portrait of the Iranian Prime Minister Mirza Ali Asghar Khan Amin al-Sultan is unmistakably by the well-known Qajar artist Isma\\`il Jalayir. It is monumental in scale and conception and can justifiably be called Jalayir\\’s greatest surviving work. Works by this enigmatic artist are very rare, due partly to his habit of destroying paintings that did not entirely satisfy his own standards. As a result only five museums possess paintings in his hand: the Gulistan Palace Museum, the Sadabad Museum of Fine Arts, and the Museum of Decorative Arts, all in Tehran, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the Leipzig Museum. the subject Mirza Ali Asghar Khan was the son of Aqa Muhammad Ibrahim Amin al-Sultan and was born in Tehran in A.H.1274 / A.D.1858. At the age of fifteen he joined his father\\’s staff and in 1871 both he and his father were among Nasir al-Din Shah\\’s entourage during his pilgrimage to Atabat. On his return to Tehran Mirza Ali Asghar Khan was promoted to sarhang and given command of the royal escort. In 1873-4, aged only sixteen, he succeeded his father as sahib-e jam (head of royal transport), and in 1878, still only twenty years old, he deputised for his father in all offices of state while the latter was away in Europe with the Shah. In 1299/1881 he was given the title Amin al-Mulk, and in 1300/1883 he inherited his father\\’s title Amin al-Sultan, along with his official functions. He continued his glittering career throughout the 1880s and 1890s and served Nasir al-Din until the Shah\\’s death in 1896, being responsible in large part for the calm transition of power to Muzaffar al-Din Shah. the artist Isma\\`il Jalayir was the son of Haji Muhammad Zaman Khan Jalayir of Khurasan. He was one of the most gifted artists and teachers at the School of Arts of the Dar al-Funun academy, which had been established in Tehran in 1851 by Nasir al-Din Shah Qajar. The School of Arts was opened in 1861. Jalayir\\’s individualistic manner is known to have caught the eye of Nasir al-Din Shah, with whom he quickly became a favourite. He and his works also became popular with other members of the court and senior politicians. By 1862-3 he had produced a portrait of the Shah and was to continue his royal association throughout his career. One of his main patrons was the young but powerful vizier Mirza Ali Asghar Khan, the subject of this portrait, whose connection with Jalayir seems to have come about in an unusual way. It is said that Jalayir was a perfectionist and was often dissatisfied with the final result of his endeavours; he was in the habit of examining his finished works and if they did not satisfy his own very strict criteria he would destroy them. Mirza Ali Asghar Khan heard about this dark tendency and invited Jalayir to his house, indicating that he was welcome to come and go as he pleased. At the same time he ordered his servants to watch Jalayir very carefully and as soon as he began to examine a completed work the servants were to whisk the painting away and hide it. In this way Mirza Ali Asghar Khan is said to have saved several works from destruction at the hand of their maker. this portrait Jalayir\\’s style was unique. Both his portraits and calligraphic works are marked by a charming and almost surreal contrast between large-scale forms in the foreground and middle-distance, and the microscopic world of flowers, animals and architecture that inhabit the intervening spaces. At every turn there is another miniature detail to be noticed, or an animal previously unseen among foliage suddenly appears. Specific types of objects reappear in his paintings like signatory motifs. In this portrait the carpet is very close to those in a closely related portrait sold at Sotheby\\’s, London, on 18 October 2001, lot 74, and in the scene of Ladies around a Samovar in the Victoria and Albert Museum (see Diba and Ekhtiar, no.86). The trees here also appear in the same two works as well a portrait of Nur Ali Shah in a private collection (Diba and Ekhtiar, no.85). A very similar chair and vase appear in the Sotheby\\’s portrait. B.W. Robinson summed up his style succinctly: \\“…His style was meticulous, thoroughly Europeanised on the surface, but fundamentally Persian, and tinged with a sort of gentle melancholy.\\” (Robinson 1991, p.887). The melancholy referred to by Robinson is evident here in the face of the young but serious politician, whose soft expression hints at a depth and spirituality not often associated with power and politics. In this particular work Jalayir has combined portraiture with his other great artistic love – calligraphy (which he applied with a brush) – and in this case the calligraphy consists of poetry, explanation and symbolic content. The main inscription, in large nasta\\`liq running across the centre of the picture area, is a couplet from Hafiz, as follows: feyz'e ruhul qodos arbaz madad farmayad digaran ham be-konand ancheh masiha mikard \\“If the Grace of the Holy Spirit be bestowed Others too could do what Christ would do\\” The smaller nasta\\`liq inscription above this is explanatory, as follows: in fard she'r-e hafez feyz-e ruhul qodos az ruy-e khatt-e hazrat-e mostatab-e ajall-e amjad-e arfa' janab-e [a]qa [ye[ amin al-soltan ruhi fadahu neveshteh shod \\“This single verse of Hafiz \\`fayz-e ruh al-qudus\\’ was copied from the handwriting of his Excellency, the Gracious, the Most Glorious, the Most Laudable, the Highest, the Excellency Amin al-Sultan, may my soul be sacrificed for him. The same image was drawn from his face\\” In small nasta\\`liq letters on the lion is written: zamamdari \\“Leadership\\” The first of these – the quotation from Hafiz – is exactly the sort of phrase that Jalayir loved to employ in his works. He was a deeply spiritual man, a follower of the Sufi leader Muhammad Isma\\`il Dhahibullah Azghudi and demonstrated his spiritual interests by painting at least four portraits of the Sufi dervish Nur Ali Shah (d.1797), several depictions of the Sacrifice of Isma\\`il and an album of portraits of The Seven Sufis. One of his greatest calligraphic works featured a prominent invocation to Ali. However, in this case he tells us, in the smaller calligraphy immediately above the main register, that this quotation from Hafiz was something that the sitter, Mirza Ali Asghar Khan Amin al-Sultan, had already copied out in his own hand, and Jalayir was featuring it here as a literary and calligraphic element of the portrait. This is interesting for three reasons. First, it absolutely confirms the identity of the sitter. Secondly, it tells us something about the literary tastes and spiritual aspects of the prime minister. And thirdly, it gives us a terminus quem by which to date the portrait. Jalayir refers to the sitter as \\“...Amin al-Sultan\\”. This title, one of his many, was not conferred on him until A.H.1300 / A.D.1883. In fact it was passed on to him, with the Shah\\’s blessing, from his father. Thus, this portrait cannot have been painted before 1883, when Mirza Ali was twenty-five years old. Furthermore, as Jalayir also tells us in the same inscription, the portrait was painted from life – \\“The same image was drawn from his face\\” – and his facial features indicate a young man of, perhaps, around twenty-five. Despite his youth he was already the most powerful politician and courtier in Iran, and it is possible that he commissioned Jalayir to paint this portrait in commemoration of his inheriting the title of Amin al-Sultan, hence the inclusion of that actual title in the nasta\\`liq inscription. The third inscription – the single word \\“leadership\\” is placed symbolically on the miniature lion of the lion and sun motif in background. The lion was symbolic of power, especially royal power, and the lion and sun motif was the symbol of the Qajar dynasty, placing it in the context of the history of Iranian kingship and sovereignty. Thus the placing of the word \\“leadership\\” in that position is stating that Amin al-Sultan was the leader of the Iranian state, the instrument of royal power. This directly political symbolism would also indicate that this was a commission to commemorate a specific aspect or moment of Mirza Ali Asghar Khan\\’s career. The sun of the lion and sun motif here has a human face, ringed by a solar nimbus. Another detail that may be a further reference to power is the scene on the vase in the foreground of a lion in combat with a dragon or serpent. This was a motif popular throughout the history of Persian art and perhaps symbolised the positive, good power of royal sovereignty, represented by the lion, over the darker forces of evil, as represented by the serpent/dragon. In the distance on the right of the picture is a five-storied architectural structure, probably a palace or royal pavilion. Such architectural vignettes often feature in Jalayir\\’s works. It is very close to a larger architectural scene included by Jalayir in one of his major calligraphic works (see Geneva 1985, no.177; Sotheby\\’s, London, 12 October 2004, lot 31). Interestingly, the back of that calligraphic work featured a previously unrecorded sketch of Mirza Ali Asghar Khan (see Sotheby\\’s, ibid.). Another similar building is seen in the background of one of Jalayir\\’s portraits of Nur Ali Shah (Diba and Ekhtiar, fig.XXXII, p.260). However, in this case a strikingly similar building, very probably the same actual edifice, can be seen painted on one of the panels beside the fireplace in the \\“Hall of Painting\\” reception room in the Gulistan palace in Tehran. Amin al-Sultan is wearing a portrait medallion of Nasir al-Din Shah at this neck. This is probably the Order of the Imperial Effigy, a superior grade of the Order of the Lion and the Sun. Instituted in 1848, the Order of the Imperial Effigy was reserved for the most senior courtiers of Iran, and was occasionally conferred on foreigners of exalted rank. Interestingly, it was the only Qajar order on which jewels were not forbidden by law: \\“The decoration with the Imperial Effigy alone is exempted from this rule, because of the respect due to the portrait of His Majesty, which demands that it should be surrounded by jewels.\\” (Mulder, 1990). An example of this medal, showing a similar design to that depicted in this portrait, was sold at auction through Morton and Eden, 25 May 2005, lot 428. Pourjavady, N., (gen.ed.), The Splendour of Iran, vol.II, Islamic Period (Vernacular Architecture, City Planning, Elements of Cities, Architectural Ornament), London, Booth-Clibborn Editions, 2001, p.395. Mulder, C.P., Persian Orders 1808-1925, Ordenshistorick Selskab, 1990 Robinson, B.W., \\‘Persian Painting under Zand and Qajar Dynasties\\’, in Cambridge History of Iran, edited by Avery, Hambly and Melville, vol.VII, CUP, 1991
Ghulam Ali Khan - View Of Humayun's Tomb, Near Delhi

Ghulam Ali Khan - View Of Humayun's Tomb, Near Delhi

Original 1818


Gross Price
Lot number: 180
Mazhar Ali Khan (fl. 1840-1870)
View of Humayun's Tomb, near Delhi
with inscription 'Houmayoon's Tomb near Delhi' (on the reverse ofthe old mount)
pen and grey ink and watercolour, heightened with touches of white,gold and gum arabic, within the artist's original black-linedborder, unframed
8.1/8 x 11 in. (20.7 x 30 cm.)
Lot Notes
The present watercolour was executed by the artist Mazar AliKhan, a Delhi artist, active in the mid-19th century. He was theson of Ghulam Ali Khan (fl. 1827). This watercolour and the two inthe following lot are part of a series of watercolours similar to aset collected in Delhi by Sir Thomas Metcalfe, circa 1840. MazarAli was the main artist contributing to this famous set of views ofDelhi. Unsigned watercolours in the Victorian & Albert Museumhave also been tentatively attributed to the artist (see MildredArcher, Company Paintings: Indian Paintings of the British Period,London, 1992, p. 145-149.
This watercolour can be dated to the 1840s.
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