Skip to main content


A large Company School album of watercolours of costumes, craftsmen, trades and processions in India providing a fascinating insight into the culture of the early 1800s will go under the hammer in LONDON next month and is expected to fetch anything between 200,000 and 300,000 pounds. This album is remarkable for the size, quality and range of subjects of the watercolours, the auction house said. It will be sold in Sotheby's Arts of the Islamic World sale on April 24. In an era before cameras and photography, administrators, officials and visitors to the East India Company would commission such albums, painted by local Indian artists to bring back and show their friends and relatives. Superior to the majority of similar related productions of Company patronage, the album is remarkable for both its size and quality, and also for its uncommon subject matter. Alongside depictions of craftsmen, processions, dancers and contemporary costumes, the album also contains a self- portrait showing the artist at work. Among other characters illustrated are a fisherman, doctor, barber, goldsmith, a dressing servant and dancing girls. All in all, the album includes 35 large sheets bound in their original leather covers. The album contains some interesting and rare portraits. The focus of the album as well as its pictorial style is the southern and eastern regions of India. A very similar album is in the India Office Collections in the British Library here.


Popular posts from this blog


Stories by modern Hindi and Urdu literary legend, Munshi Premchand are now available in comic format published by Amar Chitra Katha. The comic books in Hindi detailing two stories by the late literary phenomenon, is part of the publisher's contemporary classics section, which began in 2012 with stories by author Ruskin Bond. "We are launching the comics at the World Book Fair and it is our tribute to Premchand. The idea is to make his stories familiar with children," Reena Puri, Editor, Amar Chitra Katha told PTI. The stories "Buddhi Kaki" (The old Aunt) and "Do Bail" (Two Oxen) have been scripted and illustrated by Pratima Singh and Surendra Murthy. The English version of the comics translated by Nandini Nair is also set for launch within a few weeks, says Reena. The books are priced at Rs 50 each. "Buddhi Kaki" first published in 1921 is the story of an old childless widow who craves for love after she bequeaths her entir…


Dubai, which boasts of the world's highest tennis court, may also become home to the first underwater tennis centre where spectators can watch games from below or above the sea life through a massive glass dome. Krzysztof Kotala, a Polish architect who owns a studio in Warsaw, is currently seeking investment from local players to make the ambitious project a reality. Interestingly, the proposed location for the project (arguably one of the world's lowest tennis courts) is just next door to the highest tennis court atop the Burj al Arab skyscraper in Dubai. "There is not an investor but I would like to get interest (from them) as I think it is a good idea," Kotala, 30, was quoted as saying by a local magazine. When asked why he chose Dubai for his project, Kotala said the Gulf city had a rich tradition of tennis. "This will be something original. This should be somewhere where there is the tradition of tennis. Dubai is perfect for this idea," he said. The in…


Nearly 60 per cent of two-wheeler users "instinctively" answer mobile phones on ride while 14 per cent of pedestrians click selfies crossing the road, finds out a survey. Sixty four per cent pedestrians regularly do this and 18 per cent immediately respond to a call from their superior at work, even while switching sides on the road. That is only one part of the story. One in every three car drivers tends to send out an important text message, stated the survey conducted by consumer goods maker Samsung across 12 cities in India. There is one road accident in every four minutes in India, it added, citing government data. "11 per cent of two-wheeler riders would always answer their phone when on the road, regardless of who was calling, 30 per cent would respond to calls from family while 18 per cent of the riders responded to work-related calls," it added. In addition, 23 per cent of two-wheeler riders admitted to reading and replying to texts or social media updates…