Young scribes and calligraphers in training, c.1590

(downloaded Mar. 2008)

"YOUTHS IN A SCRIPTORIUM. MUGHAL, CIRCA 1590. Gouache heightened with gold on paper, eight youths in brightly coloured robes sit in a scriptorium talking amongst themselves and practicing the art of calligraphy, they are attended by a manservant in white robes and looked upon by an elderly gentleman standing in the foreground of the composition, within cobalt, gold-speckled borders, mounted, framed and glazed. 5 5/8 x 3½in. (14.1 x 8.5cm.)"

A pen-case of the kind that sits behind the two calligraphers, above; dated 1847

Source: ebay, May 2008

The tools of an Ottoman katib: a pen-rest, a pen-sharpener, scissors, and a reed-pen (qalam); from the late 1700's and early 1800's; also more about *the case*; *the pen rest*; *the sharpener*; *the scissors*

Source: ebay, Mar. 2009

A princess practices calligraphy, c.1740

(downloaded Mar. 2008)

"THE LESSON. MURSHIDABAD, MUGHAL INDIA, CIRCA 1740. Gouache heightened with gold on paper, a mullah sitting on a terrace with a grey shawl draped over his cream robes, teaches the art of calligraphy to a princess finely dressed in a gold brocade coat and seated against a gold cushion with a gold pen-case beside her, her fellow pupils sit around her, turquoise border with gold floral illumination, slight staining, mounted, framed and glazed. 6½ x 5 1/8in. (16.4 x 13cm.)"

"The Scribe," a print from 1825, now in the collection of the Library of Congress

Source: 2007681228 (do a search for this number)
(downloaded May 2011)

A modern example of he kind of folding rosewood bookstand that's before one of the princess's attendants, to the right; especially large and fancy ones were designed to hold an open copy of the Qur'an: *Qur'an stand, open*; *Qur'an stand, folded*

Source: ebay, Apr. 2008

Katibs making note of events at the court of Ranjit Singh; *the whole painting*

(downloaded Sept. 2008

Gouache heightened with gold on thick paper, set in the Fort of Lahore on the terrace of the ornate building with entrance arch in the lower right hand corner and main buildings in the upper left, Ranjit Singh sits towards the centre on his gold throne surrounded by brightly clad family members and courtiers, in the background a hilly landscape with further encampment, with gold, blue and black outer rules obstructed by mount, signed in Gurumuki on a fragment of the surviving cover sheet, 'Bishan Singh Musavar Bannee', buildings and soldiers, paper slightly discloured, minor flaking of paint, mounted, framed and glazed
Miniature 14 7/8 x 20½in. (37.5 x 51.9cm.)

Lot Notes
Bishan Singh, also known as Baba Bishan Singh, came from a family of artists operating in Lahore and Amritsar in the second half of the 19th century. The family were responsible for painting and maintaining the murals and motifs on the walls of the Sikh holiest shrine, the Golden Temple and it is there that Bishan (and his brother Kishan Singh) learnt his trade. Bishan Singh became particularly famous for his detailed depictions of the Court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839).

Making notes in Urdu in a ledger book; a photogravure by Martin Hurlimann called "Indian Street Banker," Udaipur, 1928

Source: ebay, Nov. 2008

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