The 14½ x 19in (37 x 48cm) watercolour was consigned from a private source and sold to the British trade at £3200 at the West Kensington auction, four times the top estimate.
“Anglo-Indian School pieces of this period and quality continue to attract a lot of attention,” said Harry Moore-Gwyn.
The art of recording plants in paintings was reinforced by European residents in India, who either wanted decorative pictures of their time there or practical records because of their job, such as physicians working for the East India Company.
The abundant breadfruit tree was recognised by botanists as a highly valuable food source – Captain Bligh on the Bounty – and it remains a staple food in many tropical regions today.
Decorative botanical watercolours were also much sought after by wealthy European merchants based in south-east Asia in the early 19th century. Christie’s sold a Chinese School, early 19th century study of a breadfruit plant for a premium-inclusive £4750 in May 2008.