4495

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Three Cast Brass Miniature Indian Market Vendors

India, probably Bombay (Mumbai) or Calcutta (Kolkata)
circa 1920

height: 6.2 - 9.9cm, combined weight: 800g

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Provenance

UK art market

This delightful set of three cast brass miniatures depict typical northern Indian street vendors.

There is a betel nut or paan seller, at his stand, preparing a betel nut quid, before a customer. A dish of betel or areca nuts, a pot for holding powdered lime, and rows of leaves that will be used to wrap the betel quid for chewing are among the items laid out on the stand before him.

There is a tailor seated with what looks like a European dress or jacked pulled up over his lap which he is sewing. A giant pair of dress maker’s scissors rests on the ground next to him.

Finally, there is a pair of what are probably dough makers, who have been rolling dough in large rounded pans before them.

Each figure has a turban and might be Rajastani or Sikh.

Such an image most probably was produced in Calcutta or elsewhere in India’s north for the colonial trade.

Each has an aged patina and is without losses.

References

Brownrigg, H., Betel Cutters from the Samuel Eilenberg Collection, Thames & Hudson, 1992.

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