Indian oil on ivory has Irish link

THIS miniature oil on ivory represents the Court of the Mughal Emperor Aldwar (Akbar) Shah II at Delhi around 1820.

A long-haired prince is on trial for discharging a pistol at a British resident in Delhi.

He was imprisoned and died in 1821. There is some doubt about who the resident was, but it is thought to be Sir Charles Metcalfe.

The Metcalfe’s were Anglo-Irish gentry and central to Indian affairs for four generations.

Metcalfe’s mission as Resident in Delhi was to neutralise the authority of the Mughal emperor and get a grip on civil administration.

Metcalfe afterwards became Governor-General of Canada.

The miniature is from the collection of the late Dr Bryan Alton and is to be auctioned by James Adam in Dublin on September 6. It is estimated at €6,000-€8,000.


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