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18th century Calcutta painting auctioned for $769,844

A pen-and-ink painting by late 18th century Calcutta, India, artist Bhawani Das was auctioned in London for 458,500 pounds ($769,844).
By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   April 9, 2014 at 3:48 PM

LONDON, April 9 (UPI) -- A pen-and-ink painting by late 18th century Calcutta, India, artist Bhawani Das was auctioned in London for 458,500 pounds ($769,844).

The dramatic drawing of a flying fox was estimated to sell for a quarter of the realized amount, the auction service Bonhams said. The artwork was among Islamic and Indian artworks auctioned Tuesday, and purchased by an unidentified private collector.

The work was one of 326 in an original series called the “Calcutta Collection of Lady Impey.” She was the wife of Elijah Impey, who was the East India Company’s Chief Justice of Bengal from 1774 to 1782.

She commissioned studies of Indian animals and plants from local artists. The precision of the techniques made them popular with British collectors, Bonhams said.

The technique and subject matter have come to be known as “Company School.”

The series were brought back to England by the Impeys in 1783, and were sold to the Phillips auction house, now Bonhams, in 1810.


[Hindustan Times]

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