Christie's unveils a mesmerising collection of Indian paintings acquired by Toby Falk

The upcoming auction will prominently feature diversity, showcasing a carefully curated collection of over 150 artworks created by esteemed artists.

A Royal Hunting Group Christie's

October 3, 2023: Turning its focus on historical Indian art, Christie’s is presenting an exquisite lineup through ‘An Eye Enchanted: Indian Paintings from The Collection of Toby Falk’, which will be presented at a live auction on October 27 at the auction house’s King Street location. 
Toby Falk, a renowned academic in Indian and Islamic art, has authored essential texts like "Indian Miniatures in the India Office Library" (1981) and "Indian Revealed" (1989). His cataloging of the India Office Library's collection and other publications, including Persian and Mughal miniatures, remain vital references for scholars and collectors.

A Lady on a Swing Christie's
Getting back to the sale, it encompasses a rich tapestry of Indian artistic heritage, spanning diverse schools from the Mughal, Pahari, Deccani, and Company School to the lesser-known Rajasthani centers. The collection is an extraordinary journey through 500 years of Indian painting, ranging from some of the oldest and rare pieces of history to contemporary artworks by Jamini Roy.
Some of the mesmerizing works that will take the center stage at the auction are A Lesser Coucal, signed Shaykh Zayn al-Din, Calcutta, India, dated 1777 (£80,000–120,000); A Royal Hunting Party, Mewar, Rajasthan painted circa 1705-15 (£200,000-300,000); and Portrait of Abu’l Hasan Asaf Khan, Mughal India, circa 1615 (£100,000-150,000).

Guler, part of the Pahari School in the Punjab Hills, is known for its distinctive art. A Lady on a Swing, circa 1800-10, exemplifies the Guler style of the early 19th century. It portrays a lady and her attendants, awaiting her lover under monsoon storm clouds, a symbol of romantic anticipation. It is estimated to fetch between £15,000 - £20,000.

Portrait of Abul Al Hassan Christie's
Sara Plumbly, Head of Department, Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds shared, “This sale has been a pleasure to work on from the moment we first saw the paintings. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Toby Falk, his is one of those names whom anyone in this field knows and respects. The warm tributes we have had from a number of curators, academics, and collectors which are published within the catalog are a true testament to this. Toby had a discerning eye and with each of the paintings, whether the value is £500 or £200,000, you sense immediately why it was included in his collection. Each work is interesting – be it for intriguing detail, the history, the pure beauty, or perhaps the fact that it comes from a little-known school. With many lots sold without reserve, this sale presents an exciting opportunity for established collectors of Indian paintings, as well as for those who are starting on their collecting journey, to acquire examples of Indian paintings assembled by one of the giants of the field.”

- By Pritha Debroy

Post your comment

    We encourage thoughtful discussion, debate and differing viewpoints, with the understanding that all comments must be civil and respectful. We encourage you to remain on topic and to be mindful that the comments are public. We do not permit messages selling products or promoting commercial or other ventures. Upon request of individuals named in comments, some comments may also be removed. We reserve the right—but assume no obligation—to delete comments, and report offenders who do not follow the code.