Indian Horn Carving of a Hindu Merchant and his Wife

Indian Horn Carving of a Hindu Merchant and his Wife

1800 to 1900 India

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An Unusual and Rare Indian Horn Carving of a Hindu Merchant and his Wife
Perhaps from Calcutta. The horn carefully etched with the patterns of their clothing, their hair and facial details
Early 19th Century

Size: 19cm high, 14cm wide, 9.5cm deep – 7½ ins high, 5½ ins wide, 3¾ ins deep

During the late 18th century under the patronage of British merchants, Indian image makers, modellers and watercolour artists began to portray their figures in a naturalistic western style. Miniature models of Indian 'types' were designed to reveal the different dress and stature of a particular caste, religious sect and occupational grouping. They can be seen as part of a general strategy by the British to understand, contain and maintain the diversity of Indian peoples. The style of modelling was a western adaptation, like company school painting, and the models and carvings are products of the cultural encounter through trade between India and Britain in the early 19th century. They and the miniatures and paintings of the period reflect the changing social and cultural configuration of the 19th century Indian sub-continent.
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