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Reference number

Vol 144

Purpose

Lord Berwick's Album, An album of Indian and Persian miniatures and calligraphy, mid-18th-century, possibly of Deccani origin

Signed and dated

  • India (Deccan?), mid-18th century

Medium and dimensions

The album is bound in eighteenth-century Indian blind-stamped red morocco, and has a brown leather box. 30 folios 400 x 170 mm

Notes

From the library of Lord Berwick, with his bookplate, purchased by Soane for 5 guineas at the sale of Lord Berwick's effects at Attingham Hall, Shropshire, on Tuesday 7th August 1827. According to Soane's notebook he attended the sale in person, accompanied by Mr Hall and Mr Watson who apparently did the bidding. Judging from the contents, some of which is of Deccani origin, and from the style of painting used for extensions made to some of the miniatures at the time of mounting, it would appear that the album was assembled in the Deccan about the middle of the eighteenth century. Many of the leaves have inner borders of patterned fabric, again probably of Deccani origin. The foliation starts at the European end of the volume. It is on folio 30, the oriental beginning, that we find the seal of an owner named Ghulam Husain Khan, with a Persian note recording that he bought the album, then consisting of 32 leaves, on 17 Safar 1176/7th September 1762. Unless he miscounted we must assume that he included the end-papers in his tally, or that two leaves have since gone missing. In a note pasted into the back of the album an early European scholar has read this purchase date as AH 1174. The same scholar has written English identifications on the cover-papers or beneath the miniatures. These are often translations of the Persian identifications written at the top of the page. The album is bound in eighteenth-century Indian blind-stamped red morocco, and has a brown leather box. 30 folios, 400 x 170 mm

Level

Drawing

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Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).