The decorative arts of South and Southeast Asia, and especially those of the 18th and 19th centuries, and trade items produced during the same period, constitute a much neglected area. The objects presented here – ranging from ornate ivory-handled daggers and exquisite silver filigree boxes to an ancient wooden tomb guardian and magnificent embroidered silk – are all of exceptional quality and are often incredibly rare. More
Accompanies an exhibition at Sam Fogg during the city-wide event Asian Art In London (3–12 November 2016)
A Library of Manuscripts from India
Paperback, 300 x 245 mm 72 pages, 95 colour illus.
ISBN: 978 1 911300 12 0
Sam Fogg and Andrew Butler-Wheelhouse
This beautiful collection of illustrated manuscripts takes the reader on a visual journey through great epics, charged romances and colourful cautionary tales from the Indian subcontinent of the 16th to 20th centuries.
The rich variety of languages, religious traditions and schools of art of the Indian subcontinent are brought together in this exceptional library of Indian manuscripts. Religious and philosophical texts from Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, Jain, Sikh and Zoroastrian schools of thought are all represented in illustrated manuscripts. This library shows how these various faiths borrowed, interacted and influenced one another in the subcontinent. From palm leaf manuscripts of the South to pothi format manuals from the Himalayas in Nepal, to the sophisticated and highly illustrated manuscripts of the Imperial Moghul court, this catalogue takes the reader on a visual journey through great epics, charged romances and colourful cautionary tales.
Highlights include an important and lavishly illustrated palm-leaf manuscript by ‘The Emperor of Poets’, Upendra Bhanja (c. 1640–1740 ce), and a rare Bihar-i Danesh (The Springtime of Knowledge) by Shaikh ‘Inayatallah Kamboh of Delhi, from late 17th/early 18th century – the finest known copy of the manuscript. An exceptional album of 18th-century Indian paintings from the Liechtenstein Princely Collections offers insight into the fascination for Indian courtly life among the nobility of Europe.
A number of exceptional painted scrolls are also presented here. Scroll painting has a long history in India. Story tellers would travel from village to village giving performances of well-known epics and regional stories often accompanied by musicians and with the visual aid of a painted scroll. One particularly vibrant scroll, over 15 metres in length, of the Madel Puranamu, was probably commissioned by a wealthy member of the dhobi caste to celebrate his community’s origins and favour with Shiva.
Among the many intruiging maps and manuals – on art, astrology, omens, divination and auspicious symbols – is an 18th-century Nepalese sorcer’s manual, which contains instructions for protective and exorcistic Shaiva rituals, mantras and sacrificial blood-offerings. Its binding includes feathers and traces of blood and skin, which by tradition are fragments of the ‘five beasts’ – buffalo, chicken, dog, goat and cow.
In the winter of 1586, Hakob Jughayets'i, one of Armenia's most celebrated illuminators, completed work on a Gospel Book with an extensive and extraordinary programme of narrative miniatures and marginal figures. More
Twenty-five years after Captain Cook, the London Missionary Society sent its first representatives to the South Seas. Their goal was to eradicate heathenism and idolatry, but unwittingly, they became agents for the preservation of Polynesian culture through their diligent recording of language and religious practices. They even preserved a number of religious artifacts, which they sent back to England for exhibition in the Mission Museum in London. This book focuses on these artifacts, the idols that avoided the flames. More
Detailed biographies describe the lives of twelve collectors of tribal art in Britain, active between 1770 and 1990. These men were rarely field collectors and only occasional travellers, but they were vigorous hunters, for whom the pursuit, handling and possession of such objects was what mattered. More
A groundbreaking study of a little-known and virtually undocumented area of the Chinese decorative arts from 1850 to 1930. More
This beautifully illustrated exhibition catalogue documents the London Missionary Society from its formation to its initial ‘success’ in Polynesia, from roughly 1792 to 1825. Along with historical graphics and archive material – paintings, engravings, books, journals and correspondence of the missionaries – this publication shows some of the idols and artefacts that the missionaries brought back – feather gods and spirit images, necklaces, instruments and tools. More
Illuminator, painter, scribe, clerk, teacher, doctor of theology, restorer and binder, Mesrop was one of the greatest Armenian artists of his and following generations. He was prolific, working for at least forty-two years in Sos (New Julfa) from 1608 to 1651. This book will be the first serious study of the 46 of his manuscripts that have survived. The focus of the book, however, is The Four Gospels, one of the few manuscripts painted entirely by Mesrop’s hand and one of the most extensively illuminated in his oeuvre. More
When English naturalist Joseph Banks accompanied Captain James Cook on his historic mission into the Pacific, he took with him a team of collectors and illustrators. They returned with unprecedented collections of artefacts and specimens of stunning birds, fish and other animals as well as thousands of plants, most seen for the first time in Europe. They produced, too, remarkable landscape and figure drawings along with detailed journals, descriptions and maps of the places visited. This collection – along with contemporary portraits of key personalities aboard the ship, scale models and plans of the ship itself, scientific instruments taken on the voyage, commemorative medals and sketches – will tell the story of the Endeavour voyage and its impact ahead of the 250th anniversary in 2018 of the launch of this seminal mission. More
Silk, Porcelain and Lacquer: China and Japan and their trade with Western Europe and the New World, 1500–1644
A vibrant and in-depth exploration of early globalization – how European intercontinental maritime trade linked up Asia, western Europe and the New World in the early modern period, and what Asian manufactured goods they traded. More
Remembering Forward presents works by nine of the most prominent Australian Aboriginal artists: Paddy Bedford, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Queenie McKenzie, Dorothy Napangardi, Rover Thomas, Ronnie Tjampitjinpa, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri and Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula. More