Indian miniature
This late 18th century Rajput miniature with an excellent provenance is to be offered at Mallams in Cheltenham on April 26-27.

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As indicated by a pencil inscription on the back of the miniature, reading Deccan painting, collected by Prof HN Moseley FRS before 1882, it comes from the family of a celebrated British naturalist who sailed on the HMS Challenger survey exhibition of 1872-76.

Henry Nottidge Moseley (1844-91) was also a key figure in the negotiations surrounding the Pitt-Rivers donation. After a decade of discussion, it was Moseley who, with anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor, oversaw the transfer Lt Gen Augustus Pitt-Rivers' collection of 22,000 objects from London to Oxford University in 1884.

The miniature will be offered at Mallams sale of Chinese, Japanese and Islamic art in Cheltenham on April 26-27 and it carries an estimate of £4000-6000.


A detail of the reverse of a late 18th century Rajput miniature which will be offered for sale at Mallams on April 26-27.

The miniature, measuring 12 x 20in (30 x 50cm), depicts an elaborate procession of courtiers, foot soldiers and horse, elephant and camel cavalry, centred by a figure smoking a hookah pipe in an open sedan, thought to be the Mughal emperor Muhammed Shah (1702-48). A similar painting is illustrated in the book Gold, Silver and Bronze from Mughal India by Mark Zebrowski attributed to the Kishangarh court.