The 4¼ x 6in (11 x 15cm) watercolour came to auction on August 8 from a consigner who spotted it in a job lot offered at another south-west saleroom. It was in generally good condition despite some damage and loss to the top right corner and some minor flaking in places.
Catalogued as ‘Indian school’, it was described as a ‘Mogul portrait of Raja Raj Singh of Guler’, who reigned over the small state in the lower Himalayas in modern-day Himachal Pradesh from 1675-95.
Another slightly larger depiction of the same subject can be found in the collection of Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The two versions have striking similarities although the Boston picture, which has been dated to c.1820, is slightly larger and lacks the vibrant colours seen here.
These connections ensured it met with demand and, on the day, it was knocked down at £4600 to a US buyer.