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Portrait of Naubat Khan

June 30, 1627
Shah Jahan 1627–1658

Portrait of Naubat Khan



Naubat Khan was the grandson of Raja Samokhan Singh of Kishangarh, and the son-in-law of the legendary Tansen. Samokhan Singh, a Jodhpur prince, was himself a great veena player of his time. He was defeated by the forces of the Mughal emperor Akbar, and his grandson Misri Singh (Naubat Khan) was kept under house arrest. Misri Singh later accepted Islam and was named Ali. He was trained under Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana, the son of Bairam Khan to get an understanding of the Mughal court procedures. Ali was given the title of Khan by Akbar, and the post of Karori, i.e. Collector of revenue. He was later given the prestigious position of the darogha of the Naqqar Khana. As mentioned in Tuzk-e-Jahangiri, Ali Khan Karori was given the title of Naubat Khan and rank of 500 personnel and 200 horse on 14 Rabi ul Awwal 1016 Hijri(Monday 9 July,1607,Gregorian), during Jahangir's visit to Kabul. Marriage with Saraswati Naubat Khan first married Ahmad Khan's daughter. After his first wife's death, he married Tansen's daughter, Saraswati. Saraswati accepted Islam and was named Hussaini. They had a son named Lal Khan. Lal Khan was the son-in-law of Tansen's son Bilas Khan. Lal Khan was the chief musician of Emperor Shahjahan. Shahajahan conferred on him the title of Gunsamundra. PROVENANCE By 1916, purchased by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy (b. 1887 - d. 1947); 1917, sold by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy to Denman Waldo Ross (b. 1853 - d. 1935), Cambridge, MA; 1917, given by Denman Waldo Ross to the MFA. (Accession date: April 5, 1917)

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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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