North India, 19th century

Width: 5,6cm

SKU: 517

A gold broche/pendant set with a miniature painting (company school) on ivory depicting Humayons Temple in Dehli.

Sultan Humayun was the second ruler during the Mughal empire. Humayun's Tomb was ordered to built by his widow Hamida Banu Begum in 1565 and completed around 1572. The building has several jālī screens. Even multiple frames with different patterns of jālī in one screen.

This building shows typical elements of the Mughal mausolea, which were interpreted for the first time in this size for a tombe. The placement of the mausoleum in a square walled garden, the remarkable symmetry of the building and garden, the use of red sand stone and white marble as building material. None of these elements were new to the architectural traditions in India and Central Asia, but the combination in one complex was an innovation of the Mughal. All later tomb monuments, including the Taj Mahal, are built after the example of this one.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, the British employed Indian artists to illustrate the manners and customs of India and to record scenes of monuments, deities, festivals and occupations. These works later became known as ‘company paintings’ because they were created by Indian artists employed by members of the British East India Company. These company paintings were mostly on paper, but sometimes on ivory, especially those form Delhi. Company paintings are nowadays also used as historical documentation of origins of people, monuments and their surroundings of India. Because through these paintings we are able to have a glimpse of India through Indian eyes of the 1800s.

Untracht Oppi, Traditional Jewelry of India p 379-380