[Album of 35 watercolours of Persian costume].

IRAN. COSTUME, Qajar school (1866.)


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8vo (130 x 180mm). 35 watercolours (all approx. 75 x 100mm), each mounted on heavy paper (always on recto), majority with pencil titles to foot; a few instances of marginal soiling, otherwise very good with wonderfully bright colour. Modern half calf over marbled boards, five raised bands and title (incorrectly given as ‘Indian Costume’) in gilt to spine. [Iran], Isfahan,

A lovely collection of watercolours, typical of the small-scale paintings naqqashan (artists) made to sell to tourists in the bazaars of Iranian cities. A number of tradespeople and other generic types are present, including a sour milk seller, a baker, a mendicant, an athlete and a Persian bride. Though all the images accord with the style of the Qajar school they appear to be by a number of different artists, as the degree of detail and carefulness of brushwork varies.  

A manuscript note to the recto of the first leaf reads: “Persian Costumes / From Richard Helme[?] to his Mother / Isphahan, November 11th. 1866.” The recipient of this gift has filled the remaining leaves with keepsakes from her own travels, pasting and tipping in cut-out engravings and lithographs of scenes from a Scotch (Scottish) Tour, a trip to Maloja, Switzerland and Pau, Southern France. Also present in this material are two amateur watercolours and two albumen photographs.

Stock Code: 224151

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