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An elephant and driver, probably from the Mughal Emperor's stable

June 30, 1806
Animals and Plants
Akbar Shah II 1806–1837

An elephant and driver, probably from the Mughal Emperor's stable



A Fraser Album Artist: An elephant and driver, probably from the Mughal Emperor's stable, with a hunting howdah equipped with a rifle, bows and a pistol. Delhi, 1815-19 ca. Pencil and watercolour, heightened with bodycolour and gold, on paper, inscribed upper left Mawla Bakhsh in Persian in nasta'liq script, further inscribed faintly centre left fil mawla bakhsh-e khassa-ye hozur-e vala, 'The elephant Mawla Bakhsh of the royal majestic presence', framed. According to the account given by S. Mahdi Husain in Bahadur Shah Zafar and the War of 1857 in Delhi, 1958, repr. 2006, p. 54, an elephant called Mawla Bakhsh was a favourite pet of Bahadur Shah II. Presumably, given the earlier date, this same animal survived another forty years, or the name was carried over to other elephants in the royal menagerie. Source: Bonhams

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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.


The Mughal Images immediately took a much greater interest in realistic portraiture than was typical of Persian miniatures. Animals and plants were the main subject of many miniatures for albums and were more realistically depicted. To upload your images click here.

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