An intricately crafted ivory model of West Bengal's famous Hazarduari Palace is set to be auctioned by Christie's in London this September.
The 3-foot wide model, built in the early 1830's, is part of a collection of architectural memorabilia owned by Professor Sir Albert Richardson, one of the most eminent British architects of the early 20th Century.
The model palace is said to have been a gift to King William IV from the then-Nawab of Bengal, Mubarak Ali Khan.
Khan, who ruled from 1824 to 1838, commissioned and built the famous Hazarduari Palace with the help of the British Army's Bengal Corps of Engineers in the historic city of Murshidabad, overlooking the banks of the Hooghly River.
The Palace (the name refers to the building's 1000 doors) was used as a venue for important meetings between the Nawabs and the region's British rulers as well as a residence for high-ranking British officers.
The ivory model of the Italianate building was built by Sagore Mistri, the assistant to Colonel Duncan MacLeod, Commanding Officer of the Bengal Corps of Engineers, who supervised construction of the palace.
Ivory carving was a thriving industry during the time of the Nawabs of Bengal and was noted for their elaborateness of detail and 'truth of representation' with carvings even sent to the Great Exhibition held near south London in 1851.
The sale takes place 18 - 19 September at Christie's in London.
- Picture courtesy of ©Christie’s Images Limited 2013